John called from work the other day and said, "Hey. Take a deep breath. . . Okay. Do you want some Bald Knob strawberries?"
At that exact moment, I was knee-deep in this mess, attempting to sort through the guest room/sewing room/craft room/soap room. I have so much to do that the idea of making jam nearly sent me into a tizzy. But NOW is when strawberries are ready. So, NOW is when jam needs to be made. That's what living "in season" is all about!
So, he brought me home a flat, and I set to work using my tomato corer (pictured below) to hull the berries. It made very quick work of it!
I was very excited about this opportunity to try out Pomona's Pectin. Oddly enough, it was recommended to us by a fellow homesteader we met at John's banking conference in Minneapolis last fall. Most pectins require high amounts of sugar to create jell. Pomona's touts that it uses a different chemical process and therefore doesn't require high amounts of sweetener. In fact, you can supposedly use the sweetener of your choice. I used honey and was very pleased with the consistency of the final product! Pomona's can be purchased on Amazon or at the Pomona's website.
Pictured above: that moment when you've just removed the jelly jars from the water bath, turn out the lights, and head to bed to curl up with a good book and listen for those blessed "pings."
And, then, the next morning, you get to try out your amazing creation!
Of course, we didn't put all our eggs in one basket, so to speak. Since this was our first time to try using Pomona's, I also tried out two other pectin-less recipes using sugar, and I think I've finally found one that will adequately jell without pectin. Success all around on the canning front!
Now, back to that guest room. . .