This weekend I determined that I would learn to can food. I started off by making some strawberry jam, which I plan to distribute to friends of mine soon. I began by searching the web for some step-by-step instructions, because I had no clue where to start. I figured I had everything I needed, and so I began the process and followed the recipe. Then I came to the part where it says I needed to put the cans on the rack which is inside the canner with the boiling water. I thought, What?! What rack? I figured I could use just a tall stockpot as a canner! Well it appears that the cans need to be away from the direct heat source and cannot be touching each other. So a rack was absolutely necessary. At this point I was about ready to either quit or make an impulse shopping decision, but instead I went back to All-Knowing Google and searched for a way to make a homemade canner work. This is what I found:

It’s a “grill” made from canning bands tied together. Ingenious!

To be perfectly honest, I’m a little worried about the jam, because it says to place the cans into the canner immediately after filling them, and of course I had to find something online first, and then make it, and add more water into the canner and wait for it to boil again before I could finally put the cans in! I hope this does not mean that everyone who eats my jam will die. I boiled them in the canner longer for this reason, and I hope all bacteria is dead. I’m sure it will be. Maybe. No, it should.

So then I felt brave enough to make nectarine jam. So I did. And here are the results of my labor:

Would you like some homemade jam on some lightly toasted homemade wheat bread? I’ll even bring you homemade mint tea to drink with it!

How I love to cook and learn new things!