I am so excited to show you my first EVER canning efforts!
We went out in the yard and foraged some dandelion greens (wilted and served with vinegar = delicious!),
some dandelion blossoms,
some of our borderline invasive mint.
We soaked the dandelion blossoms in water overnight to extract as much of the dandelion goodness as possible!
Keelin was very helpful with washing the mint! Smelled so fresh.
Mint in the jar before we filled it with water!
I can smell it just looking at this picture.
Spicy tomato jelly,
All perfectly set, all delicious, all properly sealed in the jars!
I can't believe how easy it was to can my own jelly!
If this first timer can experience success, anyone can!
My favorite of the jellies, the "lively" tomato jelly on a slice of my homemade bread!
Boil 1 quart of fresh dandelion blossoms (no stems) in 1 quart water for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir juice. Measure out 3 cups of the dandelion juice, add a teaspoon of lemon juice and 1 package of pectin, powdered works best for this recipe. Add 4.5 cups of sugar and boil until gelled. Pour into sterilized canning jars and leave 1/8" of headspace. Wipe the rims well, add lids and rings. 5 minute water bath and you're done! Just wait for the tops to pop!
Note: I cut this recipe in half and it made four 4oz. jelly jars full of jelly! Thanks to Jill at Domestic Reformation for inspiring me!
(makes 6 medium glasses full)
Combine 1 3/4 cups of organic canned or jarred tomato juice, 1/2 cup of fresh strained lemon juice, 2 teaspoons of Tabasco sauce , 4 cups of sugar in a pot over high heat until it reaches a full boil. Stir in one 3oz. package of liquid fruit pectin and bring to a full boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, stir, and skim off any foam for about 3 minutes. Pour into sterilized jars, leaving about 1/8" of headspace. Wipe jar rims, adjust lids and rings. Water bath for 5 minutes, then remove and wait for the lids to pop, signaling a good seal!
Note: I used more Tabasco sauce that the recipe called for and it was delicious. I just seasoned to taste and we enjoyed it pretty spicy!
Crush 1 1/2 cups of firmly packed mint leaves, fresh. Add 2 1/4 cups of water into saucepan with mint leaves and boil of medium-high heat for 3 minutes. Remove from heat, cover, and let stand for 10 minutes to extract the minty goodness! Strain through a cheesecloth. Measure out 2 cups of the infusion into a large saucepan. Add 3 1/2 cups of sugar, and 2 tablespoons of lemon juice. Boil at full, rolling boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and immediately add in one 3oz. package of liquid pectin. Stir and skim for about 5 minutes. Pour immediately into warm, sterilized jars leaving about 1/4" of headspace. Seal with hot lids and rings, waterbath for 5 minutes, then let set!
Note: I let my mint soak for a whole afternoon after it was cleaned, crushed, and boiled. Most recipes I read also said to add a couple of drops of green food coloring, but I opted to leave it out. I didn't feel any need to add color to something already so yummy- it wouldn't have enhanced anything but the look.
Do you have any delicious jelly recipes or fruit preserve recipes to share? I'd love to hear them!