Canning is the most rewarding seasonal experience for me. Watching the Farmer’s Market explode with beautiful fruits and vegetables during each season brings me so much inspiration to be creative with new dishes. When a certain fruit or vegetable reaches the end of harvest, I crave to buy as much as I can, preserve it and fill our pantry with the delicious memories until next year. This is the first time I ever made Strawberry Preserves! It is delicious on toast or over a scoop of ice cream.
I decided to dig into some of the oldest cookbooks I had for recipes and ideas. I loved just flipping through Fannie Farmer’s CookBook published in 1920 which intrigued me to research when preserving food by heat-treating and sealing it in airtight jars. It actually didn’t come
along until the late 18th century. In 1858, John Mason invented a glass container with a screw-on thread molded into its top and
a lid with a rubber seal. In the late 1800’s, William Charles Ball and his brothers got into food preservation jar business. Alexander Kerr invented the easy-to-fill wide mount canning jar in 1903 (an innovation that Ball quickly duplicated).
My favorite is the Ball jar that has a 2-piece lid. It is important to use new metal discs every time you reuse the jar for canning.
“The Boston Cooking School – CookBook”
Fannie Merritt Farmer
6-8 1/2 pint ball jars
2 lbs. fresh strawberries – wash, drain and hull
2 cups of white sugar
1/4 cup lemon juice
In a large bowl smash the strawberries. In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, mix together the strawberries, sugar and lemon juice.
Stir over low heat until the sugar is dissolved. Increase heat and bring to a boil. Boil stirring often until the liquid thickens.
Meanwhile, sterilize jars in a large pot of boiling water. You want the jars warm to hot when adding in the strawberry mixture.
Transfer to hot sterile jars leaving approx. 1/2 inch headspace and seal.
***VERY IMPORTANT – make sure exterior of jar is clean and there isn’t any jam on the jar especially around where the lid is going.
Immerse jars in a boiling pot of water, covered about 1/4 over top of jar. Boil at medium heat for approx. 1 hour.
Remove and place on a cookie sheet to cool overnight. In the morning press the top of each jar to make sure it is sealed. You will know if the lid does not make a popping sound. If it doesn’t, check to make sure it is sealed properly and then do the boiling process over again.