Rodney and I may have stumbled upon a new little couples hobby. He's been talking about wanting to try canning our own fruits and vegetables for awhile. It's not that he likes cooking that much, but I think it really speaks to the boyscout in him in this living-off-the-grid, surviving-off-the-land, Bear Grylls sort of way. I just like making things. And hanging out with my husband.
Anyways, I was in Paper Source and I came across this book, Food in Jars: Preserving in Small Batches Year-Round by Marisa McClellan. I brought it home, we ordered this canning kit and this candy thermometer and a week later, we were making our first batch of Strawberry Vanilla Jam. There's also recipes for a dozen different flavors and types of marmalade, fruit butters, chutneys, pickles, you name it.
I think the next thing from the book I'd like to make is Chunky Fig Jam. Yum. If you've never had fig jam with brie, you need to go make that happen immediately. Put it on bread, thin little water crackers, whatever. It's amazing.
So, like I said, this was our Strawberry Vanilla Jam and the recipe makes enough for four 1 pint/500mL mason jars. I'm not going to post the recipe here, because I'm assuming not many of you have canning kits and it's a little involved, not difficult, just hard to explain. So, if you're interested at all, I HIGHLY recommend this book! Also, the author has a blog with tips and recipes and other cool stuff.
But, I will say that this was the most delicious jam I've ever had. It was a little tart from some lemon juice and zest that the recipe calls for and it tasted more like strawberries than any store bought jam ever has and the vanilla beans made it perfect. I'm pretty sure that the 4 jars are only going to last us a few weeks, it's too good!
If you decide to give this a shot, good luck and let me know how it works out! And if you have any canning recipes you really love, please share! ;)