Canning Jam Part 3: Getting Your Family Involved in Canning
I hope you’ve enjoyed my canning posts on finding the inspiration you will need to get started canning.
One thing I learned early on about canning, which was passed down from my Mother and Grandmother, was to include my kids in helping with the canning process. It not only makes canning go quicker, but ultimately I’m hoping they will get the “canning bug,” and will keep this lost art of canning going in their families.
Including the family also gives a deeper appreciation for the work involved. We’ve had many kids over who love our canned foods, jams, etc. but realistically, they don’t have a clue the work that was involved. BUT … they do know it tastes better than the food you’d buy off the shelves.
Last week we harvested our strawberries and raspberries. We had more strawberries than raspberries (our raspberries are on their 2nd season) so I purchased more raspberries to even out the recipe, because this combination is our family favorite.
Last year I made FREEZER jam, but this year I decided to make the canned recipe.
How do I involve my kids? My son stemmed and prepared the berries. Many times they’ll help me fill the jars as well. When it’s applesauce season, I will cook the apples and prepare the canning supplies. Abby will make the applesauce completely on her own and fill the jars!
I then take the jars and place them in the hot water bath and finish up the canning process, but she’s always there to help and learn alongside me.
I’ll be honest here … canning makes a mess! Be prepared to do some heavy cleaning of big pots and wiping up lots of splatters.
Aw, the messes we make and the things we do for our families is just wonderful! :)
In my last post I shared about what supplies you’ll need to buy and keep on hand for canning your own jam. Today I’m going to show you how to get ready for canning.
Getting Supplies Ready to Can
1. Always sterilize your jars. I run them through the dishwasher right before I’m ready to can.
2. If the jars are hot about the same time your jam is ready, that is PERFECT.
3. If the jars are clean and sterilized in your dishwasher, or turned over on your counter, but they are no longer hot, right before filling the jar with jam, fill it with hot water. I used InstaHot water.
4. Never fill a cold jar with hot boiling jam, because it could crack the jar.
5. I never know exactly how many jars I’ll need, so I tend to wash extra so I have enough.
6. Count the number of jars that you have and count out the same number of LIDS and RINGS.
7. Use BRAND NEW LIDS each time you can, unless you are using the new reusable lids that are available now. (I have not tried these.)
8. Add the rings and lids to a pot of boiling water and boil for 1 minute. This will sterilize them.
Sterilized jars on the counter filled with hot water, ready to fill with jam.
These are lids.
These are rings.
These are other miscellaneous canning tools you will need.
Join me tomorrow as I share our family’s favorite Strawberry Raspberry Jam. We treat it like gold in our house … it’s precious and we appreciate not only the sweet, tart flavor, but the energy that it took to grow our own berries and to take the time to process the jam.
Teaching our kids to can is allowing this once-lost art of canning to continue to the next generation.
That is very important to me and I know to others who appreciate its value!
If you have children or grandchildren, or even neighbor kids, do you ever include them in cooking, canning, and food preservation?