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I Canned Jam and Nobody Died

Did I mention I am afraid of canning?  Well, I am.

Canzillas convinced me that I would kill everyone with botulism if I can use my deep stockpot to can jam unlike the other cooks I know and trust who have successfully canned without a lot of fancy specialty canning doodads, besides new lids of course.

Last summer's freezer jam
It’s not that I can’t afford it, it’s that I don’t have a lot of room to store it in my small kitchen. Although I was tempted to take Cooking With Caitlin up on her offer when she joked that we could have bake sale to buy me canning equipment. I love those girls to bits and will make any excuse to hang out with them.

I had several packages of Natureripe blueberries leftover from making blueberry yogurt Popsicles I wanted to use before they turned to mush. I know! I’ll make blueberry freezer jam!

Until I checked and found that I didn’t have room for it in the freezer.

Time to face my fear and can blueberry jam instead.

I had new lids, rings, and a box of jelly jars. After checking with every experienced canner I know, I used what I had to can Alton Brown’s Spiced Blueberry Jam recipe.
My new favorite kitchen tool is my iPad

Why Alton Brown’s canning recipe? Because he gives the science behind his recipes, didn’t make canning seem intimidating while still making sure I did it safely, and he’s funny. I likes me some funny in my chefs.
  •  I made the recipe in a regular pot on the stove.
  • I sanitized everything in the dishwasher.
  • I ladled jam into the jars instead of pouring it through a canning funnel.
  • I put a potholder in the bottom of a stockpot I had instead of buying a special canning pot and jar rack.
  • I used silicone oven mitts instead of a jar lifter and magnetic lid wand to maneuver items in and out of the hot water. 
The moment of truth came when I took the lid off the pot and removed the jars. I counted five little “pops” – all my jars sealed!

I canned jam people!
Canning jam took about an hour and results are delicious!

I think I’m hooked on canning.



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This post is part of the preserving food Green Mom's Carnival hosted by Farmer's Daughter on Monday 7/18/11.


Rivki Locker said…
I am SOOOO impressed. Canning terrifies me too, and I've never tried it. You are inspiring!
You go girl! You can can without all the fancy doodads, though I will say that the jar tongs are very useful for not burning your wrists when pulling jars out of the water bath. I only invested (for $7) in one last year, though, and canned for years before without.
Kristin Overton said…
I just did my second batch (ever) of blueberry ginger jam (and without grandmotherly assistance!) & I'm pretty impressed with myself! It's not as scary as people think it is at all :)
Decor To Adore said…
What a yummy DIY project! Thank you so much for sharing.

Happy Monday!
Carmella said…
I am so afraid of canning too...and we have yard full of garden goodies that really should be saved! Thanks for the inspiration and Thanks so much for sharing with Creative Bloggers' Party and Hop, I am co-hosting this week and I was so happy to see this post there!

Patty said…
I'm scared of canning too! Everyone I know does it, my mother & grandmother did it, I just don't think I'm capable of it! Your jam looks very good!
HoneySage said…
Thanks for sharing the fact that we have been canning forever without the fancy stuff and humans have survived to eat another meal. I have never used a pressure cooker or a funnel or anything else fancy and haven't killed my family, yet. Not that I wouldn't like to once in a while. Canning can be fun, if you don't get caught up in the commercialism of it.
Esther Asbury said…
You're making my mouth water with your home-canned blueberry jam! Looks so pretty and delicious too!
Linette said…
Looks like it turned out great! I love Alton Brown too, he cracks me up!
This looks good! I have never made my own jam before, I want to try though.
Holy Cannoli Recipes
Hannah Handmade said…
Hahah! I love the post title! Check out my blog August 7th-13th when it will all be about Creating Smiles Week! There will be guest posting and giveaways to charities! I would love to see your face there! www.hannahhandmade.blogspot.com
Melanie said…
I am afraid of canning, too! I started to attempt my first canning adventure this past weekend, then realized I didn't have all the necessary equipment,so that was a good excuse to not can! haha

I may have to try this recipe, though, since we grow blueberries and I always have alot left over, and I usually just use them for pies, like this one: http://bearrabbitbear.wordpress.com/2011/07/05/fresh-berry-blueberry-pie/

Thanks for sharing!

Congratulations! I've been canning for slightly longer than I've been married, and I know it's easy, but it's intimidating for a lot of people.

Wait 'til you try the pressure canner!
Pamela said…
I wouldn't have thought of adding anise, nutmeg or vinegar to my blueberry jam but you have me curious... definitely will have to make a batch. Is there anything better than seeing all the jars lined up when you're finished?
Unknown said…
I've been really wanting to try out a pickled blueberry recipe I found on allrecipes... This sounds delicious too!
Pamela - I left out the anise because I didn't have any. The nutmeg gave my jam an extra zing. It's my go to blueberry jam recipe from now on.

There is something better than seeing the jars lined up in the pantry - no one dying of botulism after eating my canned jam :) The jars in the pantry are cool though.
Congratulations! I've done this too in a former life and it was very satisfying and fun. Looks yummy!
bj said…
O, me, too...I am scared of CANNING.
I've made jellies and jams but never Blueberry..gonna use your great sounding recipe and make some.
I have strawberry freezer jam on my post today.:)
xo bj
Yum! I have an article on canning and I was not wanting to buy a big pot and rack. I love this idea! Thanks for the inspiration! just found your blog on linky party, laura
My Yankee loves jams. We don't have blueberry bushes on the farm YET, but we have tons of blackberries every year. Thanks for sharing the how-tos.

And thanks for joining the party!

Liz @ the Brambleberry Cottage
Jenn Erickson said…
Looks like a very successful and delicious experiment in overcoming your apprehensions about canning. I love that you improvised the equipment -- proving that you don't need to buy lots of special equipment. So glad your link was before mine over at Tickled Pink!
Lynn said…
I'm glad you gave it a try! It's easy and tastes soooo good-enjoy:@)