Jammin’ in the Kitchen

 – I do love homemade jams. My mother taught us to can. I helped her every summer. When my husband came home with a box of plums, visions of plum jam danced in my head. Usually he brings home peaches from the Central Valley, but, alas, they did not have any peaches this time. It’s always exciting to try something new.

Out came the canning equipment and books. I always refer to the book, Ball Blue Book Guild To Home Canning, Freezing & Dehydration, for any question I have. Great book for beginners.

The jars and equipment are hand washed before using. I NEVER place the jars into the dishwasher. After awhile dishwasher detergent pits the glass and makes it look foggy. I prefer the jars to look crystal clear!

After they are cleaned, place the jars into a large pot filled with water as you put the jars in. This way you don’t over fill the pot with water. Bring the water to a boil and boil jars for 10 minutes. Turn the heat off and leave jars in boiling water until time to use. I pour boiling water over the lids, rings and utensils and leave in water until time to use. I want everything to be sterile.

I used my new book, Better Homes and Gardens Can It!, to see how to cook plums. Chop up and pit the plums and measure 8 cups of the cut plums and put into a sauce pan with 1/2 cup of water. When the mixture begins to boil, cover the pan and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and pour  the mixture back in to the measuring cup to make sure you have 6 cups of plums.  Pour mixture back in to the sauce pan and add 7 cups sugar and 1/2 cup of lemon juice.  Stirring  constantly until rolling boil. Add liquid pectin quickly and bring to rolling boil, stirring constantly for one minute. Remove from heat.

Place sterilized jars on a towel to insulate the jars from placing on cold surface. Cold surface could cause them to crack.

Fill jars to 1/4 inch from the top. Take a paper towel dip into hot water, and wipe jar rims. Place seal and ring on the jars.

Screw the lids on until you feel resistance. They should be snug.

Place jars into the large canning pot with water and cover.

After the the water starts to boil again, cook for 5 minutes.

Remove jars from bath and put in next batch. I  set the hot dripping jars on the counter by the stove, then they are moved to a larger area and spaced about 1-2 inches apart to cool.

You can hear the jars seal. After all the jars are sealed, remove the rings. This keep the rings from sticking to the jars and making it almost impossible to open. If you give any as a gift, you can replace the ring after cleaning the jar and ring.

Enjoy! 🙂 Look for my plum butter.

10 thoughts on “Jammin’ in the Kitchen

  1. I love this post…

    It brings back fond memories of doing this with my mother. I still can, but not on the same scale she did though.

    My brother and I had a love/hate relationship with summer. It was nice to take a break from school, but that also meant a lot of gardening was going on — which we did daily. We were expected to do our garden chores, which usually lasted a few hours, before we could play. I can’t complain though, that and other things my parents did, instilled a strong work ethic within me, so I’m always moving. Our parents are amazing role models.

    I still make my own pickles, but don’t make sausage. My mom used to do that too. I remember we had to kill and clean chickens and turkeys too…

    Is that book a revised edition, I remember my mom had a few books about canning, and one was published by Ball.


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