Making jam at home can be intimidating if you’re new to canning. But once you familiarize yourself with the processing steps and get your equipment and ingredients prepared, it is one of the most fun summertime home activities you can do.
Buying jam in the store is very convenient, true. But you are never sure where the ingredients came from, how fresh the fruit was, etc. It is much better for you and your family to know from start to finish, the path of your food, right?
Start by finding a U-Pick Patch in your area — it really is fun to pick your own berries! I have been picking my blueberries the last couple of years from Piper Farms, off of North Forker Road and Bigelow Gulch Road, northeast of Spokane, Washington.
I’m not going to give exact step by step directions, because there are dozens of websites where you can find that.
All you really need to do is buy canning jars with new lids and rings, buy or borrow a water bath canner, buy a package of pectin, and follow the instructions included there. Easy!
This is just a quick overview, and also a chance for me to share that even if you have pets in your home, it’s easy to block off the kitchen with inexpensive child gates, so you can assure your friends, family, and customers (if you have a home business), that no critters will have helped in the production of delicious jams and other tasty treats!
I have two entrances to my kitchen, so I have two gates. My little tabby cat Caboodle thought that since she was blocked from one direction, maybe she could come in the other way. Nope.
So, set aside an afternoon, get your ingredients together, find a friend, pick some berries, find a babysitter if you need to, and have some fun! The results are worth it!
If you have any questions, or need a bit of advice to get started, I would love to hear from you. Happy jamming!