My favorite thing to can is raspberry jam. I try to make a large batch every year. It is very simple and tasty. Every time I taste homemade raspberry jam I am instantly reminded of fond memories having breakfast in my Grandparents breakfast nook. They always had a jar of homemade raspberry jam to put on toasted pieces of French bread. My mouth waters just thinking of it.
My grandmother only canned a few projects each year, but she seemed to try many different projects. As I took on her tradition of baking and canning I inherited her canning record. Her canning notes date back to 1951. (In the back of the notebook includes personal expenses when she when to college from 1946 – ’47. Apparently, a milkshake cost 16 cents and a movie ticket was 80 cents.) Looking back into her notes I gain inspiration to try projects that she made in the past like homemade applesauce, and homegrown tomatoes. Raspberry jam is repeated often in her notes.
Sometimes it is difficult to remember every project that I have canned in the past or what recipe I used for a particular project that turned out well. Recording the progress I make when starting a new project is helpful to learn from mistakes and successes. I recommend to everyone that cans yearly keep a rudimentary record at a minimum. Ideally you should keep a ringed binder or notebook that allows inserting pages. These binders tend to be sturdier and can be stored on a book shelf with your cookbooks.
The records can be very detailed, or simple. It really depends on how much information you think would be important for repeating the project. Some basics would include: date the project is made, product produced and amount yielded. Other information that may be helpful to record includes: where you bought or picked the produce, what types of commercial products used, how much all the supplies cost and the recipe used. If this is one of the first times attempting this project the most valuable information is what worked well and what didn’t work. Learning from past mistakes is the best lesson in home canning.
6 cups fresh red raspberries
6 to 8 ½ cups sugar
1 box pectin (optional)
Rinse off the raspberries and remove any stems, leaves, or moldy pieces. Measure the berries to find out how many cups you have and put them in a sauce pan. Add to the sauce pan 1 cup of sugar for every 1 cup of berries for a tart jam. Add additional sugar for sweeter jam. Use a potato masher to crush the berries. Heat the berries and sugar on medium heat and stir constantly until the sugar dissolves. Stir in the pectin if desired. Heat the jam on high to achieve a boil while continuing to stir. Boil until the jam sheets off of a spoon or saucer. If a foam forms skim it off the top. Spoon the hot jam into the sterilized jars leaving ¼ inch heads space. Tighten the lids down with the bands and boil the jars in a boiling-water canner for 10 minutes. Cool the jars on the counter overnight and check the seals in the morning. Record canning process and yield in canning record.