I launched my 2010 canning season by making some strawberry rhubarb jam. I got my strawberries at Urbana’s Market on the Square in Illinois. But by the time I made the rounds and came back for the rhubarb, they were out. I called up a nearby friend that has a great garden and traded some asparagus for rhubarb. She also had some stinking cute chicks that I got to hold. Back to the jam…I thinly chopped enough rhubarb to fill two cups. I was using a new knife and I accidently chopped a little bit of my fingernail off. It was quickly recovered and my jam is fingernail free. I chopped and mashed two cups of strawberries. Jars were sterilized and lids were sitting in hot water. I put the strawberries, rhubarb, fruit pectin and a half teaspoon of butter on the stove top and brought it to a rolling boil. Next, I added five and a half cups of sugar and returned to a boil for a minute. You have to be really careful at this point because any splatters of jam on your hand do hurt. I probably could do with a longer spoon. I skimmed a little foam off the top then ladled the jam into sterilized jars. I filled five half pints and six quarter pints with a little bit left over. Sealed them with the lids and rings. A magnet lifter is totally helpful for pulling the lids out of the hot water. To process the jam, I put the jars in a large pot of water to boil for ten minutes. The jars are hot, your water is hot, a jar grabber helped me get them in and out of the pot. Then the jars sat on the counter top for a day and you hear that sweet little sound of popping while the jars seal.
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