We have a friend of the family that used to can all sorts of things. Everything she made always tasted delicious, and totally fresh. I sort of always wanted to try canning but wasn’t sure how hard it would be. When Kraft asked me if I’d like to try their Sure-Jell Fruit Pectin and maybe do some canning, I gladly accepted. After all, I have typically found Kraft products to be easy to work with, so I figured it wouldn’t be that hard. I received a huge canning kit containing a Granite-Ware Canning Kit, some jars, and some tips. Before I even opened the box I knew there were a few things I’d really like to try and make – pickles, salsa, tomato sauce, and strawberry jam. As soon as the kit arrived I rushed out and bought myself some cucumbers, tomatoes and strawberries. I decided to start with dill pickles. As I wanted to get a little familiar with the canning process, I decided to start with a packaged pickle seasoning mix, and then if that turned out well next batch will be completely from scratch.
Pickles turned out to be really easy to make. I bought kirby cucumbers, as they were the only ones I could find that were best suited for canning according to what I read. You wash them, then cut the ends off. Besides the mix all I needed was water and vinegar. The canning kit was easy to work with. The tools are a must, the jars and lids get hot!! Thirty pickles made seven jars of pickles. We were very pleased with the pickles and will be making them again, next time from scratch.
Next thing I decided to try was salsa. Again, I decided to work with a packaged mix, and if we liked that would try the next batch from scratch. Salsa wasn’t difficult, but took a little more work than pickles. You have to peel the tomatoes, then chop them, add the mix and vinegar and cook.
Six pounds of tomatoes made six quart jars of salsa. We really liked the salsa, it was better than many of the store bought salsas that we’ve had. The directions said to rough chop the tomatoes, we took that to mean just cut chunks. We learned that we have to cut smaller pieces for salsa, it tasted good but the chunks were a tad too large for easy dipping. We’re looking forward to making this one from scratch so we can play around with the flavor.
Next I decided to make my favorite type of jam – strawberry jam. For this we used Sure-Jell Fruit Pectin.
If you’re like me you might have heard of pectin but weren’t sure what it was. Here’s Kraft’s description.
What is Pectin, anyway?
Pectin is a natural carbohydrate extracted from the inner peels of many fruits (i.e. lemons, limes, oranges, grapefruits and apples). Pectin serves as a natural thickening agent most commonly used in Jams and Jellies.
What can I do with pectin?
Pectin is a natural thickening agent. Though it is most commonly used in jams and jellies, pectin can be used in so many ways. Pectin can be used to make berry or fruit syrups, pie fillings, cranberry sauce, apple or pumpkin butters, even jelly candies and salad dressing. Jam and jelly don’t just mean toast toppers, either. It can mean Tomato, onion, garlic jam used to create bruschetta topping. Use your imagination.
Here’s how you make it.
KRAFT SURE-JELL STRAWBERRY FREEZER JAM RECIPE
- 2 cups crushed strawberries (buy 1 qt. fully ripe strawberries)
- 4 cups sugar, measured into separate bowl
- 3/4 cup water
- 1 box SURE-JELL Fruit Pectin
Rinse 5 (1-cup) plastic containers and lids with boiling water. Dry thoroughly. Stem and crush strawberries thoroughly, 1 cup at a time.
Measure exactly 2 cups prepared fruit into large bowl. Stir in sugar. Let stand 10 min., stirring occasionally.
Mix water and pectin in small saucepan. Bring to boil on high heat, stirring constantly. Continue boiling and stirring 1 min.
Add to fruit mixture; stir 3 min. or until sugar is almost dissolved. (A few sugar crystals may remain.)
Fill all containers immediately to within 1/2 inch of tops. Wipe off top edges of containers; immediately cover with lids.
Let stand at room temperature 24 hours. Jam is now ready to use.
Store in refrigerator up to 3 weeks or in freezer up to 1 year. Thaw in refrigerator before using.
The jam tasted really fresh. It tasted as good or better than most of the jarred jams that I’ve had. It was super easy to make, even easier still if you do like I did and have someone else (thanks hubby) crush the strawberries. I have to admit, this was my favorite of the things I’ve made so far, because it was so good and so easy to make.
There were a couple of things that I really liked about the things I made. The flavor was the biggest thing, everything tasted fresh. It tasted so good. And I can make things now and have them already made when fall and winter comes and the fruits aren’t as readily available anymore. I told hubby last night that I want to go to a U-Pick farm that isn’t too far away and get tomatoes and fruits. I want to make tomato sauce, also applesauce and apple butter. Maybe even some of those jelly candies that my Mom loves. The homemade factor was another thing, it made me very happy that I made some of my own things, things that we buy regularly. Costwise over time there would definitely be a savings. Everything I made would have cost more to buy already made in the store.
ONE winner will receive a prize pack valued at $70.00 containing:
- Granite-Ware 9PC 21.5 Quart Canner Kit
- Bormioli Rocco Quattro Stagioni 8-1/2-Ounce 4-Piece Canning Jar Set
- Canning Tips and Tricks from SURE-JELL and Kraft Foods
HOW TO ENTER. (MANDATORY)
To enter leave a comment on this post telling me what fruit or vegetable you’d most like to try canning.
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THE SMALL PRINT.
The winner will be selected using the “And the winner is” plugin. US addresses only please, no PO Boxes. This contest will end on Friday 06/15/12 at 11:59 pm est. If you’ve entered any of my giveaways before then you know that only comments containing all of the requested information will be eligible for entry. The winner must contact me to confirm they wish to receive the prize within two days of my email notifying them they’ve won. Good luck to everyone!
This review has not been monetarily compensated. The product(s) featured in this review was provided free of cost to me for the sole purpose of product testing and review. This post is and is based on the views and opinions of my family and/or self; others may have a different opinion. Please note that the personal opinions reflected in this post have not been influenced by the sponsor in any way.
THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED.