This morning the kids and I headed out to a local organic blueberry farm with some friends. The place is really a little gem! They don’t have a website or anything so you would only know about it through word-of-mouth or by driving by. We lucked out!
Only $2 per pound for organic blueberries! INSANE!
My baby had so much fun! It was the cutest thing in the world to see him walking around with his bucket singing Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star and the Itsy, Bitsy Spider songs as he picked blueberries. It was really a relaxing and zen-like moment for him. We will be returning very soon!
The berries were EVERYWHERE! I let my son walk around picking wherever he wanted and in about 30 minutes the two of us (the baby was on my back) picked 9 lbs of berries! WOWZERS! I was excited to turn them into something we could use the rest of the year and decided this was the perfect time to try our hand at canning! Blueberry jam to be exact.
Earlier this year I purchased this book to get a head start and read up on canning and all the reviews rave about the recipes. I’m glad I read through that before I started because there are little things in canning that need to be done exactly right to ensure a good seal and that it be canned correctly for safety reasons. I also picked up this little kit because everyone online said it made things easier. I think it did so I’m glad I had it.
The recipe I tried today was included in the pectin packet I used. This pectin is sugar and preservative free and allows you to use WAY less sugar than some more traditional recipes. For an entire batch requiring 4 cups of mashed berries I only used 1/2 cup of this sugar. But you could use a variety of sweeteners, including honey with this pectin.
I had all my supplies and half-pint jars ready so we went home and mashed berries!
You know he’s gotta be involved every step of the way…
We started with one batch which yielded a little more than five 8 ounce jars. The processing time was only 10 minutes in the boiling water after all jars were filled and the lids/bands secured.
After the first batch came out and I started to hear the popping sound of the lids I was happy to see I did it correctly…. or so I hope! HA!
We had so much fun we decided to make a second batch… and I still have about 3-4 lbs of blueberries that I popped in the freezer for now. In the end we made eleven half pints and one 4 ounce jar of delicious homemade blueberry goodness! Not bad for a regular ‘ol day at home with the kiddies!
Do you can? Have a favorite recipe? Let me know… I think I found a new hobby!