Monday, June 9, 2008


Every so often the place where I work gets the opportunity to can fresh produce at a cannery down in Denver. Being the volunteer coordinator I get the chance to go down and help can and I think it is so much fun! I've canned pinto beans, pear sauce and cherries in the numerous times I've been there.

Today was one of those canning days and I got to make something I have never made before - strawberry jam. This was certainly the stickiest if things I have ever canned. First we poured frozen strawberry puree into two large vats, added 13 LARGE bags of sugar and 3 even larger bags of powdered corn syrup to each vat plus pectin and once the mixture reached 180 degrees it was ready for pouring. We set up the assembly line - one person adding empty jars to the conveyer belt, two people using the hoses attached to the vats to fill the jars, me with a pitcher topping off all of the jars, one person moving the jars from the conveyer belt to the lid table, four people putting lids on the jars and two people taking the completed jars and placing them in a large metal bin. Once a metal bin was full it was moved to a cooker where the jars were boiled for 15 minutes then cooled with cold water. Once they dried we were able to wipe off any remaining water on the jars and send them through the labeler. Once they were labeled we put the jars in boxes, stacked them on a pallet and we were done! In total we made around 1,250 jars of strawberry jam and although it smelled great, I don't think I'll be eating any strawberry jam for a while.

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