Sunday, June 23, 2013

Terrific Freezer Jam FAIL

I'd like to preface this post by saying I have never canned anything in my life. However, with all the talk of fresh jam I decided it was something I would like to try and tackle. Plus a friend of ours has a strawberry patch where I could take the kiddos to pick our own. Sounded like a great idea in theory...

Thursday afternoon I put the kids down for a nap and went straight to washing the strawberries and running them through my food processor. I had found this super simple recipe via Pinterest. Maybe the ease of it should have made me question is validity, but as I said, I've never done this before.

I followed the instructions completely, word for word. I didn't have any canning jars, but figured I could finally put all those old baby food jars to use that have been sitting in my basement. Besides, I didn't want large jars since we don't go through jam quickly. I was so proud of the results.
The directions said to leave the jars on the counter for 24 hours or so to let the jam set and then transfer to fridge or freezer. We were leaving to go camping the next day, but I thought it would be done in time for me to throw them in the fridge before we left. However, Friday afternoon they didn't seem to be any more solidified than when I started.

I left them on the counter when we headed out and figured I'd stop back home at some point to put them away. Jason came out to the campground Saturday evening and informed me that one of my jars had exploded. What, what?!? I figured it was a little bit of an exaggeration on his part and would worry about it when I came home Sunday afternoon to do payroll.

I was not prepared for the mess that awaited me. Pictures don't do it justice. I spent over an hour cleaning strawberry sauce from the floor, cupboards, walls, ceiling. Another four jars had erupted in the 24 hours since Jason had been home and 2 more exploded while I was cleaning the jars up. I'm assuming this is due to the temperature of our house, among other issues.
I stuck them in the fridge and plan to do a search on 'jam set fail' in the future. I have to give it one more shot- I'm not ready to forfeit all that work and end up empty handed. On the up side, I ended up with more strawberries than I needed so I tried this recipe for drying them. While they didn't end up looking anything like the ones in the picture and took almost twice as long, Easton loves them!

If you have any suggestions for my jam 'sauce' I'd love to hear them!

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