I have never canned anything before this summer. Cooking, yes…canning…no. My mother didn’t can, and neither did either of my grandmothers, so that is a skill set I never acquired. This summer was the first really good garden I have ever had, so the only way to deal with the harvest was to either give most of it away, or learn how to can. My fabulous mother-in-law gave me some lessons about the basics, I bought some supplies, and I was on my way.
The very first thing I tried was salsa, and it turned out great. I made pepper relish, peach preserves, more salsa, candied jalapenos, fig preserves, more salsa…and surprisingly enough, everything turned out great, and I never had a can not seal. I was feeling pretty cocky. Then I decided to make my mom some tomato preserves, which she loves and are hard to find. They didn’t set up. I mean, not even a little. It was thinner than my salsa. Ack! And there were 12 half pints and 1 pint! I looked online, and some people suggested to use it as syrup (tomato syrup? Yuck!), but after waiting and watching it for two weeks, I admitted defeat and I decided to reprocess it.
That is my tomato preserves with some candied jalapenos.
I reprocessed the jam last night, and it has set up so well now that you can hold a jar upside down, and it doesn’t budge! Woo hoo! This is what I did:
1. Unseal all of your jars and dump the preserves in your widest pot that will hold it all.
2. Get your water boiling to process the jars like you normally do.
3. Sanitize your jars, and get some new lids.
4. Bring the preserves to a boil, and whisk in 2 T. powdered pectin. Keep in mind I had about 14 cups of preserves. You may have to adjust the quantities. Check after a few minutes of boiling.
5. Use the plate test. Put a plate in the freezer when you start, then when you are ready to test the preserves, place about a teaspoon of preserves on the cold plate. Wait a minute, then tilt the plate. If the preserves have a skin on them, and hold still on the plate, they are ready.
5. Mine still wasn’t thickening, so I started grasping at straws. I added 1 cup of sugar, and 1/2 cup of lemon juice, and boiled it a little longer, until it looked thickened. This time it worked!
6. Refill your jars, put on your lids, process, and say a little prayer!
I hope it works for you!
*Sometimes I link up at these parties…
Monday: Skip to my Lou, Between Naps on the Porch, Jam Hands, Home Stories A-Z, How to Nest for Less, Today’s Creative Blog, Thrifty Décor Chick, Not Just a Housewife, Boogieboard Cottage,Time Warp Wife, Chef In Training, The Ivy Cottage Blog, Holly’s Stamping Addiction, Serendipity and Spice, Homestead Revival
Saturday: Positively Splendid