This has been a wonderful busy fall season. It is amazing what a difference one year has made. Those of you who know me, know that I spent last fall recovering from a bout of West Nile. I was so grateful this year to be busy with canning, spending time with family and friends and just celebrating how good life is.
For me one of the great things of life, especially the fall, is the canning season. Years ago my grandma canned every bit of produce she could get her hands on. She instilled in me a love of seeing the produce come out of the garden, journey through the canning/preservation process and end up on the pantry shelves.
Sometimes Fall can feel like an ending to a season. I am not sure why, but canning does not feel like giving up on a past season. Canning feels like preparing for a fresh start. Lining shelves with the summer’s bounty is strangely fulfilling and highly addictive.
What starts out as just doing some batches of peaches, applesauce and pizza sauce turns into a hunt for a new recipe to try….a new way to try preserve the produce. Canning is kind of like putting Summer in a jar and opening it to enjoy on those cold winter days.
For me…..canning is hope….hope that you are prepared….hope that you are ready for what comes…..and the hope that by the time your jars run out, you also run out of cold winter days.
Seeing the shelves lined with filled jars gives such a feeling of contentment. I may be weird in that thought but I am okay with that. I love going into my pantry and just standing there looking at those filled jars.
I tried a new recipe this year. We had such an abundance of watermelon that we could not keep up eating them. We gave melons away, I juiced a couple melons and they still kept producing. Even the chickens got to eat watermelon!
So this year I made watermelon jelly. It is so pretty in the jars and really tastes like watermelon in a jar! I am so excited that in the middle of a cold dreary winter day I can open a jar and feel like summer is not so far away.
Yield: Makes five half pints
5 cups white sugar
5 tablespoons powdered pectin
6 cups pureed watermelon (remove any seeds prior to pureeing)
1/2 cup bottled lemon juice
Whisk together sugar and powdered pectin until they are fully integrated. Combine watermelon puree, sugar/pectin and lemon juice in a large, non-reactive pot.
Bring to a boil and let cook until the temperature of the nascent jelly reaches 220 degrees. This can take anywhere from 15-30 minutes, depending on the width of your pot, the heat of your stove and even the weather you’re having. Check set using saucer test before removing it from the heat, to ensure that it will set.
Remove from the heat and pour into prepared jars. Wipe rims, apply lids and screw on bands. Process in a boiling water canner for 10 minutes.
When time is up, remove from canner and let jars cool. When they’re cool enough to handle, remove rings and test seals. You can eat immediately or store unopened jars in a cool, dark place for up to a year.
*This jelly can take up to one week to set. Please give it time.
I found this recipe on Pinterest and here is the link:
I used the low sugar pectin so it would set up better. Also, make sure to boil till you reach the correct temp as this also helps with setting this jelly.
Do NOT omit the lemon juice or use fresh lemon juice.
this is needed to properly acidify the watermelon for safe canning.
I wait 24 hours before removing the rings.
I love having full shelves, but I also love to gift some of the bounty to my children and others. It is fun “shopping” my shelves and filling boxes to send home with them.
I love the fact that, for me, those jars speak of faithfulness. The faithfulness of my Creator in providing for every need. They are more than just food….they are a visual reminder. Those jars are a way to connect with those that I love and a connection to those who have gone before.
Food is our common ground,
a universal experience.
Read more: http://www.searchquotes.com/search/Food_Preservation/#ixzz63Pz248Hn