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BusyBee
07-15-2008, 06:34 PM
Anyone else enjoy making their very own homemade jams or jelly's????

Plantgoddess+
07-15-2008, 07:27 PM
I do. I just made a double batch of huckleberry jelly in May.

Mike
07-15-2008, 07:47 PM
Sometimes, but I can't use it fast enough (not a big jam/jelly eater).

I am hoping to get some apples to make some apple jelly. I still won't eat a whole batch but I haven't had it in forever.

Knitting_Guy
07-15-2008, 08:16 PM
I enjoy eating it, does that count? :mrgreen:

I'd love some good gooseberry jam!

fireflyknitter
07-15-2008, 08:41 PM
I don't but my mom does, they grow berries and apples and plums (and the neighbor has cherries) so they've usually got a freezer full of berries and fruit... now I want some homemade apple butter!

Sewing Angel
07-15-2008, 09:06 PM
Yes I do! I don't really know many people that can any more. I won't be getting any fruit this year (everything froze!). I will be making some pickled jalapenos, hot pepper relish and probably a few other things. I hope I find some good fruit to make a little jam.
I usually make peach jam, sometimes chokecherry and an apple jam that my Nona used to make.
I don't eat a whole lot of it, but my family and friends love to receive it as gifts. Last year I gave a jar of jam with a knitted dish cloth wrapped around it as little gifts. Looked really nice.

Hildegard_von_Knittin
07-15-2008, 10:45 PM
I do!!!! My mom always did it when i was a kid, and as soon as I was allowed to help, I did. When I got married I started doing it myself (just like most things, haha), but now that I'm back I'm looking forward to doing it with her again. We do peach and strawberry every year, sometimes cherry, tomato, blackberry

I *hate* store-bought jam and jelly.

Mike
07-16-2008, 01:33 AM
I've always wanted to make jalapeņo jam but never got around to it.
(It sounds odd but jalapeņos are good on peanut butter sandwiches.)

I bet I would have a real hard time using that up or giving it away :rofl:

Sewing Angel
07-16-2008, 01:49 AM
I've made jalapeno jam a few times. Its actually pretty easy. I made tortilla roll ups with it. I took a tortilla, spread cream cheese on it, a thin layer of the jalapeno jam and some thinly sliced ham. Roll up and cut into pieces. Quite yummy!

Jaxhil
07-16-2008, 02:58 AM
Hmm, I have a couple of jalapeno plants in my garden that I was wondering what to do with. Anyone willing to share a recipe for Jalapeno jelly/jam?

I can't imagine what it tastes like, and although I'm not into jalapenos, maybe it'd make good gifts. It'd be fun to try, anyway!

bailsmom
07-16-2008, 10:44 AM
This may sound silly, but I didn't grow up with a 'make-our-own-anything' mother, so how do you make your own jam? We do go to the pick-your-own orchards and pick strawberries, raspberries and blueberries so I do have access to large amounts of fruit but would have no idea where to even begin.

Is it cheaper than store bought jams?

jheatherley
07-16-2008, 11:06 AM
Can't say I particularly enjoy it, but it tastes so much better that I do it, figuring that I'm worth the effort.

Tropicflower24
07-16-2008, 11:14 AM
I know how to can some...... Granted I'm not very old, but I do know *some*. Mom is going to teach me how to can this year. The houses we've lived in for the past 5 years haven't permited it, or fruit was too expensive...... But now we are on our farm, with a *kitchen* (not as big.... But this house is 1 third the size of our old house.... and we are living in only half of that.... ROFL) and producing fruit trees! Even if things aren't real big this year, next year when our garden is more established, we'll be canning all summer.

And I think it's a cruel joke that canning season is in the middle of summer..... A sentiment I strongly feel now we have no AC. :roflhard:

kristaj
07-16-2008, 11:37 AM
I don't make my own, but my mom, MIL, and my husband do and I love it. Jalapeno jelly does make great gifts. DH and I both have received it a few times from students and he is over the moon happy every time he gets it (jalapenos don't agree with me even though I love them). He is finally growing his own this year so I'm expecting some jelly from it.

Mike
07-16-2008, 11:55 AM
This may sound silly, but I didn't grow up with a 'make-our-own-anything' mother, so how do you make your own jam? We do go to the pick-your-own orchards and pick strawberries, raspberries and blueberries so I do have access to large amounts of fruit but would have no idea where to even begin.

Is it cheaper than store bought jams?

Buy a box of Sure-Jell (http://www.kraftfoods.com/surejell/) and follow the instructions.
For jam it goes something like mash up the fruit, add sugar, bring it to a molten blurping ooze, add the gelatin, stir, pour in jars, seal. (Don't take that as gospel, it's been a while and I may have the steps out of order. Steps out of order may equal syrup instead of jam.)

I don't know about cheaper since I don't buy store bought jams, never priced how much it is to make my own and I don't buy anything to make it with other than the sugar and Sure-Jell.
But I haven't seen pie-cherry jam and when you buy apple jelly you're stuck with whatever blend of juice or single cultivar they decide on instead of the one you like the best.

The good part of making or growing your own stuff is the fact that you make it how you want it and know what goes in.
I'm sure Ragu is cheaper than my tomato sauce if you figure in the labor involved, not even if you include how much the tomatoes would cost. But it's mine and I know what went in each jar.
Value ends up being whether or not you have the time to spend canning.

Sunshine's Mom
07-16-2008, 11:59 AM
I can tomatoes - does that count? My best friend makes strawberry-rhubard jam, salsa and a banana butter that is to die for. My supplies are running low...I better call her....

Mike
07-16-2008, 12:01 PM
And I think it's a cruel joke that canning season is in the middle of summer..... A sentiment I strongly feel now we have no AC. :roflhard:
I didn't have AC when I first got into canning.

I put off tomato sauce until winter by freezing the tomatoes whole.
I may have a batch or two of peppers or pickles during the summer but the bulk of pickling is just before the frost.
Plus I try to pressure can when it's suitable, that way I'm not boiling 5 gallons of water for one batch.

Cynamar
07-16-2008, 01:25 PM
I want to so bad but my kitchen is so teeny and I just don't have the equipment or the knowledge to do it. Next time I move I will, though!

Becky Morgan
07-16-2008, 01:56 PM
YES! I just finished the third batch of crabapple jelly from the tree by the driveway, there are windfall Molly Delicious apples sitting in the little kitchen ready to clean, three batches of mulberry jelly and a gallon of syrup are done, and my bush cherries (LOVE them--they're a pretty hedge, they look like a snowdrift when they bloom in early May, and they have TONS of tart cherries in June!) gave me enough for four batches of jkelly and jam this year. Oh, and my neighbor just gave me a quart of black raspberries for seedless jam!

And Mike's right: buy a box of Sure-Jell or Ball Pectin or Can-Jel or whatever and a box of half-pint jars and go right through the steps on the instruction sheet. It isn't hard, and jam/jelly is one of the safest things you can possibly can since botulism is not at all a concern due to the high sugar content (if you want sugar-free, buy the pectin meant for that; the boxes are clearly marked.) . Oh, and there's freezer jam, too. Strawberry freezer jam is so good it should probably be illegal :D

I don't know about cheaper the first time. Around here (eastern Ohio, USA) a twelve-pack of jars, lids and rings run about $6.50-$7, the pectin is about $1.50 when it's not on sale, and the fruit of course depends on where you get it. One recipe will make anywhere from five to eight or nine jars--most fruits on the low end, apple on the high side.

Sewing Angel
07-16-2008, 02:48 PM
Jalapeno Jam

1 cup bell pepper chopped fine
8-9 jalapeno's chopped fine
6 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/3 cups white vinegar
6 ounces liquid pectin
2-3 Tablespoons lime juice
green food coloring (optional)

Combine bell pepper, jalapenos, sugar and vinegar in a pan. Add food coloring (if desired). Bring to a boil. Remove from heat. Add pectin. Return to heat until boiling point is reached. Remove from heat. Add lime juice. Pour into jars, stir to distribute peppers and process according to your altitude.

I have made this with and without the food coloring. It is entirely your preference. I have won blue ribbons at both the county and state fairs with this.
Angel

Mike
07-16-2008, 04:14 PM
I want to so bad but my kitchen is so teeny and I just don't have the equipment or the knowledge to do it. Next time I move I will, though!
My bare kitchen (no cabinets) is 7x12. It also doubles as a laundry, which double as needed counter space. Until this year I didn't have any cabinet space to speak of or any counter on the non-sink side.
It doesn't take much space. You can even put the jars back in the box they came in and put them on a shelf in a closet.

The only real equipment you need for Jam/Jelly is a stock pot like you would boil spaghetti in. The glop is so hot it takes care of the canning part.
For other canning you would only need a stock pot large enough to cover the jars. Soon the Dollar stores should have cheap canning pots that include a rack for the jars so you can lift them out easily.
It's not that expensive to get into.

Later you can figure out what time saving choppers/peelers/mills will help you. Those can get expensive, a pressure cooker definitely is expensive.

The gelatin has all you need to know for jam. There are plenty of books for preserves and other canning or your County Extension office will give you all you need to know (or the internet now).
I used the County Extension, my sister couldn't believe it when she found out I didn't have a Blue Book because of all the canning I do.

BusyBee
07-16-2008, 04:46 PM
Buy a box of Sure-Jell (http://www.kraftfoods.com/surejell/) and follow the instructions.
For jam it goes something like mash up the fruit, add sugar, bring it to a molten blurping ooze, add the gelatin, stir, pour in jars, seal. (Don't take that as gospel, it's been a while and I may have the steps out of order. Steps out of order may equal syrup instead of jam.)




Oh dear!
what did i start :oo:

I'm so glad that so many of you enjoy doing this too!

I use Sure Jell too, the first time i ever made my own was the from the recipes inside the box, but i know there are tons of recipes on SureJell.com, even a candy recipe that I'm really looking forward to trying out.

Okay i got one question
what in the world is chokecherry???

Sewing Angel
07-16-2008, 05:25 PM
Chokecherries grow wild in the Northern part of NM where I am originally from. This is a good explanation of what they are
http://www.wildfoods.info/wildfoods/chokecherry.html

They are really small berries that are really tart! We usually mix with apple or sometimes do them straight. Picking them is interesting, they are so small, it requires a lot of patience and the more people picking the better! We usually save milk jugs, clean them well and cut a hole opposite of the handle to put them in. They really are tasty.

miccisue
07-16-2008, 05:58 PM
Oh dear!
what did i start :oo:

I'm so glad that so many of you enjoy doing this too!

I use Sure Jell too, the first time i ever made my own was the from the recipes inside the box, but i know there are tons of recipes on SureJell.com, even a candy recipe that I'm really looking forward to trying out.

Okay i got one question
what in the world is chokecherry???

I mainly do grape jelly, as we have a grape vine in our back yard. (Missed it 2 years ago as the neighbor put up tons of bird feeders, and the darn birds ate all my grapes as well....last year we put the bird netting stuff over the grapevine, and had tons of grapes to work with) They generally ripen mid-August to early September, so I pick them then, wash them, and put them in the freezer. Then the day after Thanksgiving, my mom comes over and we spend the day making the jelly.
Last year I planted some pie pumpkins and made pumpkin butter. It and the jelly were huge hits as Christmas presents.
Last but not least, there's no way you can beat the taste of homemade jams and jellies....once you've tasted them, it's painfully obvious how watered down the commercial jams and jellies are.:thumbsup:

Debkcs
07-17-2008, 03:02 AM
Count me in, also. The 'for sure' things I do every year are strawberry-rhubarb jam, peach jam, apple butter, peach chutney, green tomato hot dog relish (the best ever), and yellow squash pickles. Other things drift in as we need gifts for friends and relatives.

Storage is a big problem here, my closet has shelves full of canned goods.

Jaxhil
07-18-2008, 09:27 AM
Thanks sewing Angel-wow that's a LOTTA sugar! LOL-I've never made jam, but I have just the right amount of jalapenos on my plants out front-I'll have to try this!

I have a question though: do you seed your jalapenos or leave the seeds in? Is it just personal preference?

Thanks again!

Sewing Angel
07-18-2008, 10:08 AM
I know the amount of sugar always freaks me out! But you only eat a little jam at a time. Yes I do seed my jalapenos, it looks better and give a better texture. The seeds and the ribs inside the pepper make things hotter too. I have to wear gloves when I handle peppers. Even some of the milder peppers bother me.
I hope you enjoy it.

jhelanee
07-18-2008, 01:07 PM
I grew up on homemade jam and can't stand anything else now. I usually make strawberry freezer jam using purchased pectin (i.e. Sure Jel) and cooked blackberry and apricot jam without added pectin. The strawberry goes in plastic containers, the other two in pint-size glass jars. My Mother taught me to boil the jars and lids to sterilize them while you were cooking the jam, then you pour the hot jam into the hot jars, set the lid on and screw the band until it just stops. As the jars cool, check the band every 20 min or so and keep tightening until the lids have "popped" to seal and the jam is room temp. The only spoiled jar I can remember from this method was several years old at the time we discovered the seal had broken and it was growing mold.

I don't can anything, but I will probably freeze some blueberries, raspberries and possibly green beans this year.

cheesiesmom
07-18-2008, 01:09 PM
I always did up strawberry and peach jam, chili sauce and tomatoes. And Hot Pepper Jelly! which is great as glaze for pork or roast chicken. I also use it as a condiment with pork chops, ham and plain turkey breast or chicken. You can get recipes from the Sure-Jell box, but I used to use a pectin-free recipe for strawberry jam. It was a little softer, but the flavor of the fresh fruit really came through. De-lish!

I'm unable to do any of that anymore and gave away all my paraphenalia and boxes of jars. I miss "home made".

When you get started it can be quite an investment for the canning kettle and jars. You might try your local second hand store. That's where all my stuff ended up.

We also used to blanche and freeze veggies for the winter. Green beans, broccoli, corn, brussel sprouts. Well worth the effort.

Have Fun!!

LilHuskiesFootBallMom
07-18-2008, 03:29 PM
my grandma used to, i'd love to learn how... let's just say my one attempt at fudge really didn't turn out well (it was still runny even after FREEZING it for 3 days!)

LilHuskiesFootBallMom
07-18-2008, 03:32 PM
Last year I planted some pie pumpkins and made pumpkin butter.

how do you make pumpkin butter? I have a recipe for crock pot apple butter, but not pumpkin butter....

miccisue
07-21-2008, 05:38 PM
my grandma used to, i'd love to learn how... let's just say my one attempt at fudge really didn't turn out well (it was still runny even after FREEZING it for 3 days!)

Check your candy thermometer. I'm betting it's off. I've made fudge for years (the recipe on the back of the Kraft Marshmallow Creme jar), and it was always great. One year I couldn't get it to set up at all. I couldn't figure it out....until it hit me that the candy thermometer I was using didn't have a red ball on the clip and the one I'd used before did. Sure enough, I had 2 candy thermometers, and when I used the old one everything was fine, but the new one was off by about 10 degrees. Test your candy thermometer in a big pot of boiling water and see how it registers. I'll bet it's off.:thumbsup:

miccisue
07-21-2008, 05:47 PM
how do you make pumpkin butter? I have a recipe for crock pot apple butter, but not pumpkin butter....
I went to allrecipes.com and used the recipe for Pumpkin Butter II. Several places will say that you have to either do the freezer type or the pressure cooker thing since pumpkin is a low acid food, but I used this recipe with no problems. Of course, once it was cooled I refrigerated it, and the people I gave it to used it up pretty fast, so there was no lingering on shelves for a long time. Still, I felt I needed to put that disclaimer in there.
As for cooking the pumpkin to get the puree, I use the "cut them in half and place them cut side down on a greased foil covered cookie sheet". When you can pierce the skin with a fork and it's nice and tender, then you scoop out the flesh an puree it in a blender or with one of those little handheld blenders. I didn't like the "cut it up and boil it" idea, as it seemed it would lose lots of nutrients and possibly water down the puree. Those instructions aren't hard to find - I just googled them ('cause I had no clue as to what I was doing. LOL!)

Jan in CA
07-21-2008, 09:01 PM
I've never even had homemade jelly/jam much less made any. :shifty:

miccisue
07-21-2008, 09:12 PM
I've never even had homemade jelly/jam much less made any. :shifty:

Well, somebody's gonna find out your address, and guess what you'll be getting for Christmas?:rofl: :woot:

BusyBee
07-22-2008, 03:54 PM
Well, somebody's gonna find out your address, and guess what you'll be getting for Christmas?:rofl: :woot:

hahaha
I think that homemade jams or jelly's really do make the best gifts
My brother and i got together and made a batch and gave it to our mom,
who proceeded to eat it all....i think that she liked it :roflhard: