Monday, May 18, 2009

Making Do Monday- Canning Strawberry Jam

Sometimes it's hard for me to realize that I improvise a lot. I just do it. I'm kind of used to it. It occurred to me today that I improvised with a kitchen tool that was very irritating to use in the first place. Let me start from the beginning.

Nature has this way of providing "yummies" from time to time- even without our help. These strawberries were growing in the field and minding their own business. It was drizzling rain. The birds were too scared to get wet I guess. I took full advantage of the situation. I had no container or basket to put those ruby red little jewels in. My son, that takes after his mom, suggested a nice little bag that was in the car. You go son- you saved the day! See, we made do with what we had. Anyway, our idea was to pick as many of these tiny field born berries and bring them home to make some jelly. After all, I have a water bath canner, new jars, and the rest, I figured I could improvise.

Improvise I did. I had no fancy little jar lifter or even a magnetic stick to lift lids out of hot water with. I had only attempted canning only once before in my life but do you know what? I felt very confident because Granny Miller taught me everything I needed to know. (I highly recommend her videos- it's like having your grandma there explaining everything step by step).

Jar lifters look like tongs but with silicon or rubber on the ends to grip the jars with. What did I do, I grabbed the tongs that came in our barbecue kit. Do you know what? They worked. I just had to be extra careful and grab the jars with a potholder as soon as I got them out of the water. (Keep in mind though that I was canning with very tiny jars that weren't that heavy. I wouldn't try it with large jars.) Those handy tongs were, well, just that- handy. Scott came in the first time I used them. He was just in time for the """splash""" that occurred when I didn't have a good grip on the first jar. He said, "how much is the "real" thing that you need to do this correctly?" (Can't you tell he knows me pretty well?) Then he handed me a ten dollar bill and said, "Go buy what you need." Don't you just love him. He actually gets irritated when I improvise so much. It's just in my blood I guess. I can't help it.

Here is the product of my "making do". I managed to get 3 jars of strawberry jam out of those strawberries that grew in the field (in the drizzling rain, with the lazy birds watching). Not bad I guess. Hopefully, tomorrow, I can open a jar and see if it is as yummy as it tasted before I canned them.

The good news about it all, is that I made do with what I had and no one got hurt this time.....


  1. That looks sooo yummy. I love strawberries!

  2. You did a great job. It looks fabulous! Good luck in your canning adventures!