*Ball Canning provided me with product.
Last month when Ball Canning reached out to me about participating in the Can-It-Forward program I got pretty darn excited. I’m already deeply obsessed with mason jars (one peek inside my house and pantry would prove that) but up until now I’ve only used them for purposes other than canning. You see, despite my mother’s claims that canning is an easy process, it’s something I’ve always been afraid of. I’ve heard so many horror stories about complicated processes, proper temperatures and food poisoning that I’ve avoided doing any canning. It sounds scary but you know what, it’s actually REALLY EASY!
You just need the right tools and the Ball Canning Blue Book. That book is as handy as my right hand and includes almost anything you ever wanted or needed to know about canning. It’s organized in easy to read chapters and packed full of recipes for jellies, jams, pickled vegetables, meats and much more.
If you want to get started with canning you’ll only need a few tools, many of which are inexpensive. For a beginner like myself, I’d start with jams and jellies. Ball Canning makes the FreshTECH Automatic Jam & Jelly Maker that takes all the guess work (and hard work) out of making these sweet spreads.
This week I made our first batch of strawberry jam and it starts with one simple, fresh ingredient – STRAWBERRIES.
For this half batch, I used a potato masher to smash 1-1/2 cups of fresh strawberries.
Next, measure the Ball Canning Pectin powder according to the Strawberry Jam recipe.
The pectin goes in the bowl of the FreshTECH Jam & Jelly maker.
The crushed strawberries go in next.
Then you simply plug in the maker, press the JAM button and wait for the beeps. That’s when the sugar goes in and the machine does all of the work for you, stirring and cooking the strawberries. The whole process takes less than 25 minutes.
Once it’s done, you can pour your fresh (and crazy good smelling) strawberry jam into the mason jars.
Next you can preserve the jam by freezing (up to 1 year), water bath canning (up to one year) or enjoy it now by refrigerating for up to 3 weeks.
Since I made such a small batch of just three jars we decided a treat that smells that good just had to be enjoyed right away.
As you can see, making jam is ridiculously easy and the best part for me is that I have complete control over the ingredients and amount of sweetness. And you know what else? Water bath canning isn’t scary either! I used the dill pickles recipe from the Ball Canning Blue Book to turn my own garden grown cucumbers into dill pickle spears. Many of the tools needed for this process are probably already in your kitchen and for everything else, there’s the Ball® Home Canning Discovery Kit .
Can It Forward with Ball Canning
If canning is completely new to you or you just want to freshen up your canning skills, there’s the National Can It Forward Day event happening Saturday, August 17, 2013. In addition to Ball canning experts, this year’s event will star Food Network’s Chopped host, two-time Emmy and James Beard award-winning chef and cookbook author, Ted Allen. The event is broadcasting online from 10AM to 2PM EST where you can get recipes, tips and tricks to help make fresh preserving easy, fun, and creative!
Join the conversation on Twitter with #CanItForward and follow @BallCanning.
Use the entry form below to enter to win some great Ball Canning prizes including: The Ball Canning Discovery Kit, The Ball Blue Book Guide To Preserving and One coupon for a free case of Ball brand canning jars.