From my kitchen

Readers have asked what became of the bucket of black raspberries that I plucked from our woods last Sunday. Well, after the hole from the rusty nail puncture healed in the bottom of my foot, I decided to bring the canning kettle, jars, rings and lids up from the basement and make some jam.

There is something ethereal about opening a jar and enjoying the fresh vegetables or berries you harvested in the summer while it is snowing and cold outside. Canning is time consuming, but in my opinion it is worth it bringing fresh food into your home year-round.

For the apprehensive, it is quite easy to do and requires berries, sweetener, pectin and calcium water, depending on the brand of pectin used. Cook the berries and calcium water down, mashing as you go. Boil for a couple of minutes, add your sweetener, that was previously mixed with the pectin and again, bring it to a boil.

 Remove from heat. Ladle into sterilized canning jars, top with warm lids and rings–place in water bath canner and allow to boil for 10 minutes. Remove to cool on towel covered counter-top. Jars are done when you hear the distinctive ‘ping’ as they cool.

Jam will last a year on the shelf, three weeks in the refrigerator after opening.

I used pure Wisconsin organic honey in my recipe and the end result was my best batch of jam ever! The aroma in my kitchen lasted for days!

Why don’t you give canning a try? You might just love it!

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