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This post is sponsored by Ball® Fresh Preserving Products by Newell Brands, all thoughts and opinions are my own. 

About a month into Summer we were already scrambling to find things to do in my house.  Crafts are fun but messy. Going on adventures is fun but those can get expensive.  Napping is awesome but my kids don’t seem to want to get on the bandwagon with that one.  So I decided to try something brand new, something I thought I could never do, but something that the girls and I could do together… small-batch canning.  And you want to know a secret? It was actually easy and FUN!

I CAN do it!

Our home is surrounded by sweet, kind people that we love like family.  Every Christmas, my daughters and I bake cookies and deliver them to our favorite neighbors.  That got me thinking… why don’t we do something nice for them more than once a year? So, in partnering with Ball® Mason jars, we have decided to start a Summertime tradition of gift giving. Each year, starting now, we will try a few small-batch canning recipes and the one we like the best will get delivered to our favorite neighbors.  It’s our special way of saying thank you to them for caring about us.

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What is Small-Batch Canning?

When you think of canning, you may think it’s something that your Grandparents and Great-Grandparents did in the good ol’ days.  But, it’s actually making a comeback!  It’s something I’ve always wanted to try, but I was afraid I wouldn’t get it right.  Small-batch canning is actually a great way to save money.  You can preserve foods to last longer and it can be conveniently stored for future meals or to be given gifts, as we are going to do.  

There are so many recipes to choose from.  My 8 year old went through the Ball® Guide to Preserving and made a list of recipes that she wanted to make this Summer. Her list had my mouth watering with recipes including Basil-Garlic Tomato Sauce, Dilled Green Tomatoes, Maple Walnut Syrup, and one of our family favorites, Green Mangoes.  After great deliberation, we decided to start with a classic, the Mixed Berry Jam. 

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My youngest was in charge of choosing the berries.  She chose fresh strawberries, raspberries and blueberries and it was the perfect combination!  My oldest helped to crush the berries.  One thing we learned in the process was not to crush them too much, or your jelly will be a little on the runny side.  Aside from that, we found it to be very easy, especially with the Ball® Canning Starter Kit which included almost everything you need to get started.

The jam was ready in 24 hours and I couldn’t keep my kids out of the jars.  They loved the sweet, fresh flavor of the jam even more so, because they helped to make it.  Teaching my kids to love cooking is so important to me.  I love that we can pass the recipes and traditions down through future generations.

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I can honestly say that canning is addictive! Once you get started you’ll discover all types of fun recipes to try! We are working our way down the list right now and can’t wait to see how they all turn out! Next on our list is the Dilled Green Tomatoes (yum!).

The girls are having a hard time parting with their Mixed Berry Jam, but they are excited to see the looks on the faces of their neighbors when we hand deliver the jars this week.

Mixed Berry Jam

Yield: About 6 (8 oz) half-pint jars

Mixed Berry Jam

Ingredients

  • 4 cups crushed berries, mix and match your favorites such as strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and/or raspberries
  • 4 ½ tbsp Ball® RealFruit™ Classic Pectin
  • 3 cups sugar
  • Tools Needed:
  • Ball® Half-Pint Jars with Lids/Bands
  • Water bath canner
  • Jar lifter
  • Common kitchen utensils
  • Large saucepan or Dutch oven
  • Canning Funnel

Instructions

  1. Prepare boiling water canner.
  2. Heat jars in simmering water until ready for use.
  3. Do not boil.
  4. Wash lids in warm soapy water and set bands aside.
  5. Combine berries in an 8-quart saucepan.
  6. Gradually stir in pectin.
  7. Bring mixture to a full rolling boil that cannot be stirred down, over high heat, stirring constantly.
  8. Add entire measure of sugar, stirring to dissolve.
  9. Return mixture to a full rolling boil.
  10. Boil hard 1 minute, stirring constantly.
  11. Remove from heat.
  12. Skim foam, if necessary.
  13. Ladle hot jam into a hot jar leaving a ¼ inch headspace.
  14. Remove air bubbles.
  15. Wipe jar rim.
  16. Center lid on jar and apply band, adjust to fingertip tight.
  17. Place jar in boiling water canner.
  18. Repeat until all jars are filled.
  19. Process jars 10 minutes, adjusting for altitude.
  20. Turn off heat, remove lid, let jars stand 5 minutes.
  21. Remove jars and cool 12-24 hours.
  22. Check lids for seal, they should not flex when center is pressed.
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Want to make your own Mixed Berry Jam, here’s a handy list of tools and where to purchase:

Click here for more Ball® recipes and canning ideas!

Have you ever tried small-batch canning?  Comment below and let us know! 

Not ready to try small-batch canning now? Pin for later >>

Small-batch canning is making a comeback. Learn how to make Mixed Berry Jam with this easy step-by-step recipe by Ball®.

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