My Foray Into Food Storage

A regular gal learning about Food Storage, Home Cooking, Canning, Gardening, and more!

My Jam Runneth Over, a.k.a. I Have No Idea How Long It Takes For Jam To Boil Over and Destroy My Stove

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I was making jam on Saturday.  I’ve done it many times, and because I have made it so many times, I’ve become a bit lackadaisical about it.  I used to stand over it the entire time it cooked.  Not this time.  Instead of being an attentive jammer, I stepped away from the stove for just a second to double check the recipe on my computer, and I got caught up reading other people’s blogs.  Bad move, Laurie!  How long was I away?  I have no idea.  It wasn’t more than 5 minutes, but 5 minutes is a long time when something is boiling on the stove.

Then I heard the dreaded ” pan boiling over” sound.  I found this when I removed my pan from the stove to avoid burning the jam on my stove’s burner, making it practically impossible to remove.  I know this because I’ve done this once before and didn’t remove the pan.  I don’t recommend it.  Always clean up first!

This is what happens when you start surfing the web when you should be watching your jam!

This is what happens when you start surfing the web when you should be watching your jam!

Why am I showing you this?  Because I want you to know that you don’t have to be perfect to try your hand at canning.  You can have great jam/jelly/preserves on your first try!  I make mistakes, but I still manage to produce yummy jam despite my imperfections.

Enough about me.  Let’s talk about something better.  Jam…  I love it!  Jam, Jelly, Preserves, Marmalades, Conserves, etc.  They are all super YUMMY to me!  I spread them on toast and PB sandwiches, mix them in my yogurt or ice cream or homemade muffin mix, and slather on pancakes and waffles.  I would eat it plain if I thought I could live off of jam alone, but, alas, I cannot.  So I use it wherever and whenever I can.

Home canned jams and jellies are a big part of my food storage.  It goes hand in hand with my love affair with bread.  I figure if I have to live off of my food storage (which consists mostly of wheat and flour with a smattering of other things), I want to have a million flavors of jam to go with it.  I definitely won’t suffer from appetite fatigue.

What is Appetite Fatigue, you ask?  Basically, appetite fatigue occurs when you eat the same thing over and over and over and OVER!  Think everlasting leftovers in your fridge that go bad, because no one in your house will eat another bite.

Now, back to canning jam.  I started with these beautiful strawberries.

Strawberries from Sam's Club.

Strawberries from Sam’s Club.

Aren't these gorgeous?

Aren’t these gorgeous?

I bought them on Thursday and started my jam right away.  As per the instructions,  I washed the berries, trimmed the caps, layered them with sugar, and popped them in the fridge.

Strawberries layered with sugar.

Strawberries layered with sugar.

After letting them sit in the fridge for a 2 nights (I was very busy on Friday), I continued with the recipe Saturday morning.  I prepared the jars (washed and sterilized them), put the lids in hot water, and started the jam.  Here are some pics of the process.

Sugar has melted and the preserves are beginning to simmer.

Sugar has melted and the preserves are beginning to simmer.

Now they're starting to boil, so I added my candy thermometer.

Now they’re starting to boil, so I added my candy thermometer.

It's getting close to done!

It’s getting close to done!

Even closer!

Even closer!

And Done!!

And Done!!

Then I skimmed off the foam and put it about 1/2 of the Strawberry Preserves into jars.  You do not have to skim the foam, as it won’t hurt you, but it’s not as pretty in the jars.  Then I added some vanilla to the remaining preserves to make Vanilla Strawberry Preserves.  I put the remaining preserves into jars.

I used a damp paper towel to wipe the rim of each jar to ensure there were no drops of jam.  Anything left on the jar’s rim will interfere with the ring’s ability to create a vacuum seal.  I put the lids on, then the rings.  I usually put the jars directly in the water bath canner, but, since I had two different flavors of jam, I labeled the jars first.  Then into the water bath canner they went.

I processed the jars according to the instructions and here is the result!

Lovely Strawberry and Vanilla Strawberry Preserves!

Lovely Strawberry and Vanilla Strawberry Preserves!

DSCN5421

Doesn’t that look easy?  It is! 

Now, it’s time to share your experiences or lack there of! 

If you could learn to can anything in the world, what would it be? 

Or, if you are an experienced canner, what’s your favorite thing to can? 

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Author: Laurie Nguyen

I am a happily married, stay at home mom with four sons, ages 24, 22, 18, and 14. I'm not a professional blogger, and I'm certainly not a foodie or a chef. But I like food, so I think I'm qualified to write about my own life experience with food. Want to be a little more prepared for the unexpected? Check out my Food Storage Blog, http://forayintofoodstorage.com. Have a question about Food Storage? Email me: forayintofoodstorage@gmail.com.

41 thoughts on “My Jam Runneth Over, a.k.a. I Have No Idea How Long It Takes For Jam To Boil Over and Destroy My Stove

  1. Nice! You’ve got a lot of great looking jam there. I’ll follow you and hope to learn something. Thanks for sharing!

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  2. It looks great. Of course I really prefer freezer jam.

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  3. It’s amazing how quick it can happen, a boil over and that had to be pretty awful with that sugary syrupy jam. The end result is wonderful though, there is nothing better than homemade jam!!

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  4. I made jam and canned for the very first time this weekend. It was awesome. I made blackberry jam, and with my mom’s excellent coaching, I had fun and made about 2 dozen jars! Of course, my son has already gone through 2 jars of it… and it’s only 2 days later. Mom canned lots of rainbow carrots, and then dad mentioned how his family used to can carrots/potatoes/onions in the same jar and then pull it out for soups, etc., so, we made a dozen of those, too.

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  5. For absolute ease, next to zero effort and no fail results – I would pick canning juice. My son bought me a stainless steel steam juicer last year – you put water in the bottom, fill the top with whatever fresh or frozen fruit you like, set it to boil and in an hour you have three quarts of clear, beautiful juice concentrate. Better yet – no canning involved – simply pour into sterilized jars, pop your boiled snap lids on top and screw down the rings. Done! From this you can either add water and drink it, use it to make syrups, or turn into jellies. It’s a great way for me to take advantage of sales on fruit, or an abundance of fresh berries. I usually make my jellies etc. in the winter when I have spare time. The left over pulp goes to my chickens, but also turns into excellent compost.

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    • Thanks for sharing your favorite thing to can! I didn’t realize it was so easy to can juice. It may have to be my next canning adventure!

      What flavors of juice do you can most often?

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      • 😊 Blueberry, cranberry (which I do add a touch of sugar to), strawberry are the most common. They also mix well together if anyone has a mind to. Any fruit will do though – apple will make excellent jelly – the best thing about apples is you don’t have to peel and core them – just chop and throw in the steamer. I sometimes throw in a bit of sugar and some cinnamon with the apples. As an added bonus you can also steam other things – puddings (as in Christmas pudding), and vegetables as well (instead of boiling all the nutrition out of them).

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  6. I love fresh jam! I’ve only made it once before tho.

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  7. Vanilla strawberry sounds wonderful! Nice post. Sorry I laughed when I read how you got carried away reading other blogs! I relate!

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  8. I have the same issue when I make jam. I have to remember to turn down the heat if I’m going to walk away, because I can get distracted by shiny objects SO easily. This post has me craving strawberry jam now. I’ve been playing around with all sorts of wacky combinations, but maybe it’s time to just get back to basics.

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  9. I have made heaps of jams when my kids were younger but now there is just hubby and myself we eat too little of it to bother much – but I had a great mishap last year of pouring a batch of cranberry jelly all over the bench and floor…no bowl under the strainer!! I have been preserving for years and still have the odd accident !!

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  10. We have quince bushes, and my favorite to can is quince jelly.

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    • I’ve never tried quince fruit. Interestingly enough, I grew up in a neighborhood called “Quince Orchard.” I didn’t realize until I was an adult that a quince was a fruit and that we had quince trees throughout the neighborhood.

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  11. Looks delicious. My one and only attempt at homemade jam resulted in a new ceramic cooktop…

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  12. Strawberry vanilla jam is my favorite. My second favorite is raspberry with some rose floral water…it’s a “dreamy cocktail”… Did you ever try that recipe??? Have fun with all your cooking…and thank you for following my blog.
    France

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  13. you do make it look easy! I’ve never tried it before. It’s cool you can make your own flavors!

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  14. Awesome presentation. This jam looks wonderful. Thank you so much for sharing the recipe.

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  15. Thanks for following my blog! I’m going to try making jam this summer when my garden is ready. Glad to know your experience. I’m sure my jam will runneth over as well!

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  16. Okay, now you’ve inspired me to go at this… I’ve always been intimidated with the whole process. But, you made it look so easy and simple. 🙂

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  17. I’ve never canned anything. A friend recently told me about Appetite Fatigue. I’d never heard it before. I get Appetite Fatigue very easily. But the second day of the same thing, I’m over it. Luckily, if I have a lot of leftovers, I just portion it out and freeze it. I guess canning is the same thing. Saving something delicious for when you’re ready to appreciate it properly again 🙂

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  18. I’ve never canned anything–I’m convinced I’d create a botulism epidemic. But I am intrigued . . .

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  19. This makes me excited for spring and a garden full of strawberries!

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  20. We love making and eating raspberry jam. The pectin content is so high that we don’t need to use store bought pectin. Which is great because making my own jam feels so frugal to begin with. I also stash a few jars where the boys won’t find them so that it lasts longer!

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  21. I’m looking forward to trying to can some jams this summer. I’ll stay tuned here for more.

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  22. My favorite thing I’ve canned so far was herbed pickled asparagus–yuuuuuuuuuuum! Although I’m pretty in love with the cranberry jam I made in the fall, too.

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  23. Reblogged this on My Foray Into Food Storage and commented:

    One of my earliest posts about making Strawberry Preserves.

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  24. Pingback: Hmm… What To Do, What To Do? Help Me And There’s A Prize In It For Ya! | My Foray Into Food Storage

  25. I make 18 jars of strawberry jam as my son can’t live without it. He will not touch store bought jelly or jam. Not sure if someone else suggested this but I have read if you place a wooden spoon over your pan while boiling it helps control a boil over (meaning less will seep out in the boiling over process lol). Never tried it but couldn’t hurt 🙂

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  26. Laurie, I love the way you put things:). After all my years of canning ( more than I care to count lol) I can’t tell you all the “incidents” that have happened. The fun part is each year you look back at the last year and can’t help but chuckle. Keep it up, love your posts:) hugz:)

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  27. LOL! Wow, that’s a lot of sugar.

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  28. Pingback: Makin’ Marmalade Again: Some Canning Tips And Tricks | My Foray Into Food Storage

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