With the start of summer comes strawberry and then blueberry picking season -- two of my favorite times of the year. And, with the over abundance of freshly picked fruit, comes afternoons of canning these delicious berries into jams, which I surprise family and friends with, as well as enjoy with my family at breakfast time.
I waited until Savannah was out of school for the summer to go strawberry picking with her and Bella, as well as a friend from her preschool and his mom. We set out for a local farm, which has what seems like miles and miles of strawberry and blueberry plants. With our buckets and containers we spent the AM last Tuesday picking vibrant red colored strawberries. I think Savannah and Bella ate more strawberries than they put in the bucket. I can't blame them, as I sampled a few (well, OK, more than a few) and they were so juicy and delicious. It was hard to stop at just one. But, I knew that these ripe strawberries would make for great smoothies, homemade frozen fruit bars and jams for canning, so I made a point to stick with picking the strawberries to fill my containers with them. :-)I was smart when it came to picking as I brought along an extra container that I filled, which sole purpose was to satisfy our strawberry cravings for the drive home. By the time we got home, the container was empty, and the girls had red lips and fingers and smiles on their faces. :-) After cleaning and prepping the strawberries for snacking, freezing and canning, I pulled out the new 37th edition of the Ball Blue Book canning recipe book.
"The most trusted resource in home canning for over 100 years, the 2015 release of the Ball Blue Book is its largest update since the first edition in 1909."
The new 37th edition, which hit book shelves earlier this month, is a must have for canners, both novice and expert. With over 200 pages, this canning cookbooks has expanded 56% from the previous edition, and includes 75 new recipes, pictorial step by step canning guides for beginners, and a special special section for Meal Creations and recommendations with tips for creating your own signature food.
Here is a quick and easy strawberry jam recipe that is posted on the Jarden Home Brands' Fresh Preserving website, which is filled with tons of canning recipes you will find in this and past Ball Blue Book editions.