ReLocavore: Redefining "local"

A locavore moves from Wisconsin to New Hampshire and rediscovers what "local" means.


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35 Pints of Jam on the wall…

Sam and I took the day Thursday to go to Edgewater Farms and pick strawberries to make jam and other good things. We ended up picking 48 pounds at $2.50 per pound. The strawberries this year are the most flavorful, plump, beautifully ripe berries that I have ever picked. With berries this beautiful, it is easy to make fantastic jam.

However, that was not in the works. (/foreshadowing) I had to go to an important meeting and left Sam with a boiling pot of jam and 36 empty jars. Unfortunately, I think the berries were so sweet and wonderful, there wasn’t enough acid to setup the pectin. The jam didn’t set.

Rather than eat strawberry syrup on our toast, I opted to take the 4th holiday to reset the jam. Gigantic PITA. One unintended consequence – resetting the jam requires additional sugar, lemon juice and pectin. I had to add so much that I ended up with an extra jar of jam after resetting. So 35 pints of jam.

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Who is the Saint for canning and preserving?

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I may need some prayers and good thoughts tonight. Who is the patron saint of canning and preserving? Saint Christopher?

My first canning load of the season and the very first jar I put into the boiling water blew up in the hot water bath canner. 

I guess there’s one last jar of spicy rhubarb compote. Darn.


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Fruit, sugar, pectin needed to make strawberry jam in quantity

I got sick of doing the math every year, so I made a table for large batches of strawberry jam. The recipe is based on using Certo liquid pectin.

Certo Pectin Pouches Strawberries
Pounds
Strawberries
Hulled and crushed
cups
Sugar
cups
Sugar
Ounces
Sugar
Pounds
Yield
Pints
1 4 4 7 49 3.066 4
2 8 8 14 98 6.132 8
3 12 12 21 147 9.198 12
4 16 16 28 196 12.264 16
5 20 20 35 245 15.33 20
6 24 24 42 294 18.396 24
7 28 28 49 343 21.462 28
8 32 32 56 392 24.528 32


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Wide Mouth Canning Jar Accessories

Thanks to Cool Tools for their recent overview of wide mouth canning  jar accessories.

They covered:

  • The Cuppow: A lid that lets you drink from your canning jar.
  • The Kraut Cap: An airlock for a canning jar for anaerobic fermenting.
  • Re-Cap: A pour spout and lid for a canning jar. This would be great for salad dressings.
  • The Holdster: A handle for a canning jar.

I would also add these other accessories that extend the usefullness of your canning jars:

  • The Bnto from Cuppow: A cup that fits inside a canning jar, giving two separate storage spaces.
  • Plastic jar lids: Dishwasher-safe and reusable lids for foods that are NOT shelf stable.
  • Shaker jar lids: Turn your jar into a spice shaker. I use this for nutritional yeast on my popcorn.


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Canning Lids Price List

When I preserve food in glass jars (aka. “canning”) almost everything in the process is reusable from year to year. However, the one disposable element is the jar lid that comes in contact with the food.

In previous years, I’ve opted to buy lids when I need them, but this year I’ve decided to bulk order lids so I could get them as cheaply as possible. Here were the places I was able to find lids (locally and online) and the price per lid.

Online
Location Price Per lid
Regular Wide
Amazon.com $0.49 $0.44
Freshpreserving.com $0.19 $0.27
Acehardware.com $0.25 $0.33
Upper Valley Merchants
Hanover Coop $0.15
West Lebanon Feed $0.23 $0.33

Price per lid is based on the volume of lids purchased, so smaller packages might have higher per-lid prices.

Note that I couldn’t find the shipping charges for Freshpreserving.com, which may increase the cost per lid. At Amazon.com, I only used Prime merchants, so I wouldn’t have to pay shipping charges, and use the cheapest price I could find.

Big props to the Coop for having the cheapest lids. In addition, being a Coop member, I may get an additional 10% discount on my lids, lowering the price even further. I will stop by and order a case!