With winter fast approaching, it is time to fill my pantry with homemade jams, jellies, and preserves.
I enjoy these tasks as I know I am feeding my family wholesome foods that don't contain all the chemicals that we now find in store-bought goods. I know my preserves are cleaned, cooked and prepared in a safe, clean environment.
Today I concentrated on making Watermelon Jelly.
The recipe is extremely easy and quick and the taste is to die for! I can imagine waiting in anticipation for the bread to pop out of the toaster and spreading a thick layer of this watermelon jelly on my toast.
It is very economical. I always wait for watermelon to go on sale here at the local grocers and then stock up. I can't help but take a few bites of watermelon while I am making the jelly though! :)
Here is the recipe for those of you who wish to try and make your own and believe me.... one taste and you will be hooked!
Time: 1/2 hour to one hour
Serving Size: 6 half pints (for 1/2 of one medium sized watermelon)
Shelf life: 12 months
4 cups of watermelon - no seeds or rind
3 tbsp lemon juice
1 box of dry pectin
3 1/2 cups of white sugar
Cut up 4 cups of watermelon
Place one full box of pectin in a bowl and mix with 1/4 cup of white sugar - set aside
Sanitize jars and lids by boiling in water for 5 minutes
Place the 4 cups of watermelon in a blender and purify (there should be approximately 2 cups of watermelon juice when finished)
Pour watermelon juice in large pot and add 3 tbsp lemon juice
Bring to a full rolling boil
Stir in remaining sugar - when it reaches a full boil, boil hard for 1 minute
Test for thickness - use a metal tbsp that has sat in ice water or in the freezer - take 1/2 spoonful of juice - let it cool to room temperature - if it thickens to how you want it, then it is finished - if it isn't thick enough, add more pectin and boil for one more minute
Fill jars to 1/4 inch from top, put on lids and rings
Put jars in a stock pot of boiling water making sure that there is 2 inches of water over the jars. Boil for 10 minutes
Remove from stock pot and place on a clean cloth, free from draft. Let sit until the lids start to pop (which indicates they are sealed)
Jams and jellies are the best when eaten in the dead of winter with the snow swirling and blowing outside the house. It brings back a little bit of warm summer breezes and fresh cut grass. Enjoy!