2011
08.21

Jam Session

For those not familiar with Super H Mart, think of it as a Harry’s Farmers market for Asians. There’s every kind of noodle, soy sauce, fish, and odd vegetable there. It’s actually where I bought my largest aluminum brew kettle (It’s actually a tamale pot). We happened into Super H Mart the other day, as there was one next to the Brand Smart we decided to trek to (for the first an last time…) Right inside the door was a fantastic deal: strawberries for a dollar a pound:

Strawberries - $1/lb @ Super H Mart

Strawberries - $1/lb @ Super H Mart

We figured we’d snag a few and make some jelly (the picture is only about half of what we bought, and we SHOULD have bought a bunch more). Sister Anne suggested that we should try a lower sugar recipe than the classic Ball recipe. I dare say that even the recipe that we used seemed high on Sugar. Well, we’ll find out about that once we open the first one. The fun here was in the making!

Andy prepping Strawberries

Andy prepping Strawberries

We diced the Strawberries into small pieces…

Strawberries pre-boil

Strawberries pre-boil

For a total of 6 quarts pre-boil volume. Combined that with sugar, and brought to a boil…

Strawberry Jam Boiling

Strawberry Jam Boiling

Be careful when making jelly, this stuff likes to foam! I’m glad I did it in my water bath canner! (We used this pot to make it in, and used the pressure canner as a water bath canner.)

*A few words of advice at this point: Use a food processor on your strawberries first, we found that ours didn’t cook down and break up as much as we expected (a la tomatoes) (I think this also effected our measurement of the pre-boil volume of strawberries – we got lower yield than expected. | Because we took some out and blended it, we were goofing around with the heat to maintain a boil: keep it low. we scorched a small spot on the pot. Nothing to adversely effect the batch, but just putting it out there…

This was the first time I had bothered to boil my lids, so when it came time to extract them from the sauce pot they were in, I couldn’t find the lid lifter that I may or may not have purchased three years ago when I thought I was going to can something.

If you find yourself in this pickle, I’m pretty sure you’ll have a glue gun, refrigerator magnet, and wooden spoon on hand:

Makeshift Lid-lifter

Makeshift Lid-lifter

Just be careful not to have it in hot water for too long – it is on there with hot glue after all! – it worked fine until I had to start going for the lids near the bottom. It would probably last an entire canning session if you ran it under cold water once or twice. You could of course, do this with another food safe glue and keep the magnet on the end of one of your spoons. (Who needs another unitasker in the kitchen anyways, right?)

And the final result:

Canned Strawberry Jam

Canned Strawberry Jam

8.5 pints of strawberry jam! We calculated that we probably managed this for around $2 a pint (plus jar costs). Keep in mind, Smuckers goes for $3.50+ at Kroger, so we’re pretty proud of ourselves.

We’ll have to test a jar out before we make gifts of it to friends and family… But I fully expect to be able to trade a jar or two for some Marinara, or other great staple.

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  1. Look at your…making some jam! It looks tasty.