Remember last year? My Mom and sister and I teamed up to make our jam for the whole year. This year I took the idea to our church instead. Our church is always looking for new fellowship ideas and I was hoping the event would draw people in. The thought was that I would bring my berries and supply the sugar and know how to anyone who wanted to can some of their own. Here are a few notes on how things went:
- Attendance – myself and 4 others
- Strawberries used – approximately 20# whole, uncleaned
- Pints produced – 23
- Time from start to finish – about 4 hours
- The cleaning went very fast – maybe a half hour to an hour. There was a bit of a downtime after that until we had several batches going back to back. Next time it might be better to start a few batches right away before the cleaning is done.
- You can never have enough tubs for everyone to put their scraps in.
- On the stove we had a canner, and small saucepan with lids, and two pots of jam going at once. We started with only one pot of jam so we had room to heat the pot of hot water for the jars. Once it was hot enough with moved the pot of jars on to the floor. It stayed plenty hot the whole time.
- We used almost 10# of sugar.
- Don’t forget the lemon juice! I almost did.
- This time I was the only one who brought berries to process. If there were multiple people canning jam for themselves I think it would be handy to have each keep their jam on one bath towel and label that towel with a piece of masking tape and their name. That way the jam could be left there to cool if needed without any confusion.
- Next year I need to pick the date further ahead. This time I didn’t pick until less than two weeks before which left very little time for advertising.
- I paid $1.10/# and priced other places at $1.50/#.
- We had a wonderful time!! I really enjoyed the fellowship and would like to get together like that more often.
If you’d like to plan something similar and have any questions I will try to help you if I can. I think this is the type of thing that could really take off given today’s economic troubles and rising concerns over food safety and origin.