Homemade Jam: It’s Worth the Mess

To my mind, there are few sounds on earth more satisfying than the sweet plink-plink-plink that canning jars make as they seal.  Musical.  And filled with the promise of summer flavor for my family in the dead of winter.


Jam_480-0828I have a kid who eats  “Deep PB and J” about 300 days out of the year, and I am happy to bypass the jam section of the grocery store in favor of my own basement pantry, lined with pretty fruit-filled jars. But there’s more to it than economics, isn’t there?  Children raised with a sense of delight in creating part of their home’s sustenance.  Ruby-red colors.  Art, heart, the “fruit of the vine and the work of human hands…”


I just finished the season’s second batch of strawberry jam from the berries we picked the other day.  The kitchen looks like a war-zone. I handed the pot of berries and the potato masher to my ten year old, so I also have red-polka-splatter-dotted walls behind the counter. Totally worth it–maybe even a plus.

Shocked that your recipe calls for more sugar than berries?  Check out these yummy alternatives with less sugar from Mother Earth News a few years back.

And we’d love to hear your own canning/preserving motives and stories…


  1. KT

    Ahhh..makes me think of that great Greg Brown song…

    Canned Goods

    Well let the wild winter wind bellow and blow
    I’m as warm as a July tomato

    There’s peaches on the shelf, potatoes in the bin
    Supper ready, everybody come on in
    Taste a little of the summer
    Taste a little of the summer
    Taste a little of the summer
    Grandma put it all in jars

    Well there’s a root cellar, fruit cellar down below
    Watch your head now, and down we go


    Well maybe you are weary and you don’t give a damn
    I bet you never tasted her blackberry jam


    Oh she got magic in her, you know what I mean
    She puts the sun and rain in with her beans


    What with the snow and the economy and everything
    I think I’ll just stay down here and eat until spring


    When I go down to see Grandma, I gain a lot a weight
    With her dear hands she gives me plate after plate
    She cans the pickles, sweet and dill
    And the songs of the whip-or-will and the morning dew and the evening moon
    I really gotta go down and see her soon
    Cause the canned goods that I buy at the store
    Ain’t got the summer in em anymore
    You bet Grandma as sure as you’re born I’ll take some more potatoes and
    a thunder storm


  2. Hi,
    I was just trying to find out what the siding is on your coop? I can’t comment on that section is it T1-11? I love the way it looks.

    Preserves is a mother and two daughters venture that gets of of hand. My sister lives neat Squim…. lots O fruit.

    1. lyanda

      Hi Autumn. It’s not T1-11 (I think that would be a little flimsy for a coop in rainy Seattle). It’s 1/2 inch rough-sided plywood. Just happens to have faux siding grooves cut into it. Thank you–we do like how it looks.

      Sorry about your comment trouble–the techno-glitch has been fixed.

  3. Pingback: Hand-y Berry Pickin’

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