I followed several different recipes, which I suppose is a taboo in the preserves world but I like to read and see a variety of techniques before deciding which methods works best for me.
I watched a few YouTube videos:
The Book of Preserves: Jams, Chutneys, Pickles, Jellies
Preserving The Taste
Before I decided to just start with the basic strawberry jam recipe included in the pectin packet. I know, sort of a cop-out. Next time I have promised myself to try something totally amazing like sun-cooked strawberry jam or strawberry and cranberry chutney (oh, my!)
First I cored the strawberry by removing the green leafy stem with a sharp steak knife.I did this to about 6 large baskets worth. Again, I cooked about 5 lbs of strawberries!
Next, I chopped the strawberries into quarters for large berries and halves for smaller berries.I did this to all of the strawberries. After the strawberries are cut I placed them in my food processor to give the a quick super chop. Chop the berries in the food processor only enough to liquify some but still maintain a lot of berry chunks. Jam is always best with a little bit of chunk to it.
Once chopped, place the berry slurry into a slurry into a large cooking pot. Allow to cook and bring to a rolling boil for 5-7 minutes. Once steadily boiling stir in the pectin packet. Stir continuously and bring the mixture to a rolling boil. Stir in 7 cups of sugar int the cooked fruit. Stirring constantly. Allow to boil for 5 minutes. Then funnel the jam into 8 oz jam jars with a funnel. Immediately place into a hot water bath, ensuring the jars are covered by at least 2 inches of water. Boil the jars in the hot water bath for 5 minutes. Pull out and allow to cool completely. The tops of the lids should "ping" once they have sealed (this should occur within a 24 hour period).
Store your preserves in a cool dry place for up to a year.
Do you have any tips for making preserves? What is your favorite food to preserve? Happy Preserving!