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I usually, not always, use Certo Liquid Fruit Pectin for my jam. The recipe booklet that I use is from 1975 when the liquid pectin came in bottles. Now the pectin comes in sealed envelopes and each envelope is equivalent to one half-bottle. As you can see, my recipe booklet is falling apart. The new recipe sheet that comes inside the packages now isn’t as comprehensive as the old one. I do not water-bath can my jam. There is enough sugar in it to act as a preservative. Using canning lids keeps air from getting in. When I was a child, my mother only used paraffin to cover the jam and many people still do it that way.

  • This is how I prep for a jam-making session
  • Set out enough sanitized jars and rings to match the yield of the recipe, either pints, cups, or half-cups.
  • Put the appropriate number of lids into a small saucepan of water over low heat.
  • Set out my canning funnel, a ladle, metal serving spoon, and small dish.
  • Cut open the envelope of Certo and set it in the small dish.
  • [The small dish is for the foam (which is just as delicious as the jam, only foamy)]
  • Strawberry or Blackberry or Dewberry or Boysenberry or Youngberry Jam
  • Yield 8 cups (5 lb.)
  • 4 cups prepared fruit (about 2 qt. fully ripe berries)*
  • 7 cups (3 lb.) sugar
  • 1 envelope Certo Liquid Fruit Pectin

First, prepare fruit. Crush completely, one layer at a time, about 2 quarts fully ripe berries. (If desired, sieve half of pulp to remove some of the seeds.) Measure 4 cups into a very LARGE saucepan. *(With strawberries, or other berries lacking tartness, use 3-3/4 cups fruit and add 1/4 cup lemon juice.) Stir in sugar and mix well.

Over high heat, bring to a full rolling boil and boil hard 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; at once stir in Certo. Skim the foam off with a metal spoon. Continue to stir and skim. Ladle into jars, leaving 1/2″ room at the top.

Wipe the rims of the jars and screw on the lids. Turn the jars upside down for at least thirty minutes (or as long as hours and hours–doesn’t matter). If the fruit is floating, give the jars a shake every once in awhile. Turn the jars right side up and let cool completely before marking and storing.

Many times it can take more than a day for the jam to set. Try not to worry. If it really does not set, then you have a nice batch of syrup or you can try to process it again. I have never done that, I just go the syrup route. C’est la vie.

I usually, not always, use Certo Liquid Fruit Pectin for my jelly. The recipe booklet that I use is from 1975 when the liquid pectin came in bottles. Now the pectin comes in sealed envelopes and each envelope is equivalent to one half-bottle. As you can see, my recipe booklet is falling apart. The new recipe sheet that comes inside the packages now isn’t as comprehensive as the old one. I do not water-bath can my jelly. There is enough sugar in it to act as a preservative. Using canning lids keeps air from getting in. When I was a child, my mother only used paraffin to cover the jelly and many people still do it that way.

  • This is how I prep for a jelly-making session
  • Set out enough sanitized jars and rings to match the yield of the recipe, either pints, cups, or half-cups.
  • Put the appropriate number of lids into a small saucepan of water over low heat.
  • Set out canning funnel, ladle, metal serving spoon, and small dish.
  • Cut open the envelope of Certo and set it in the small dish.
  • [The small dish is for the foam (which is just as delicious as the jam, only foamy)]
  • Currant Jelly: Yield 7-1/4 cups (5-1/2 lb.)
  • 5 cups prepared juice (about 4 lb. fully ripe red currants)
  • 7 cups (3 lb.) sugar
  • 1 envelope Certo Liquid Fruit Pectin

First, prepare juice. Crush about 4 lb. (3 quarts) fully ripe red currants. Add 1 cup water; bring to a boil and simmer, covered, 10 minutes. Place in jelly bag; squeeze out juice. Measure 5 cups into a very LARGE saucepan. Add sugar and mix well.

Place over high heat and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. At once stir in Certo. Then bring to a full rolling boil and boil hard 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, skim off foam with a metal spoon, and pour quickly into jars.

Wipe the rims of the jars and screw on the lids. Turn the jars upside down for at least thirty minutes (or as long as hours and hours–doesn’t matter). Turn the jars right side up and let cool completely before marking and storing.

Many times it can take more than a day for jelly to set. Try not to worry. If it really does not set, then you have a nice batch of syrup or you can try to process it again. I have never done that, I just go the syrup route. C’est la vie.

I could eat this peach jam out of the jar with a spoon, and have done so! I haven’t tried the pear jam, but it’s the same recipe so I included it in case you want to try it. One time the local grocery store was selling cases of bruised cooking peaches for a very low price. I thought I had died and gone to heaven. We had peachy desserts for quite a few days, along with this delicious peach jam.

  • Peach or Pear Jam
  • Yield: 9 cups (5-1/2 lb.)
  • 4 cups prepared fruit (about 3 lb. fully ripe peaches or pears)
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 7-1/2 cups (3-1/4 lb.) sugar
  • 1 envelope Certo Liquid Fruit Pectin

First, prepare fruit. Peel and pit fully ripe peaches; core fully ripe pears. Grind or chop very fine. Measure 4 cups into a very LARGE saucepan. Add lemon juice. Stir in sugar and mix well.

Place over high heat, bring to a full rolling boil and boil hard 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; at once stir in Certo. Skim off foam with a metal spoon. Ladle into jars, leaving 1/2″ headspace.

Wipe the rims of the jars and screw on the lids. Turn the jars upside down for at least thirty minutes (or as long as hours and hours–doesn’t matter). If the fruit is floating, give the jars a shake every once in awhile. Turn the jars right side up and let cool completely before marking and storing.

Notes: I usually, not always, use Certo Liquid Fruit Pectin for my jam. The recipe booklet that I use is from 1975 when the liquid pectin came in bottles. Now the pectin comes in sealed envelopes and each envelope is equivalent to one half-bottle. As you can see, my recipe booklet is falling apart. The new recipe sheet that comes inside the packages now isn’t as comprehensive as the old one. I do not water-bath can my jam. There is enough sugar in it to act as a preservative. Using canning lids keeps air from getting in. When I was a child, my mother only used paraffin to cover the jam and many people still do it that way.

  • This is how I prep for a jam-making session
  • Set out enough sanitized jars and rings to match the yield of the recipe, either pints, cups, or half-cups.
  • Put the appropriate number of lids into a small saucepan of water over low heat.
  • Set out my canning funnel, a ladle, metal serving spoon, and small dish.
  • Cut open the envelope of Certo and set it in the small dish.
  • [The small dish is for the foam (which is just as delicious as the jam, only foamy)]

What do you do with this? Well, it goes good with lamb and also makes a beautiful presentation in Thumbprint Cookies at Christmastime, along with Raspberry Jam or Currant Jelly.

  • Fresh Mint Jelly
  • Yield: 3-1/4 cups (2-1/2 lb.)
  • 1-3/4 cups mint infusion (1-1/2 cups fresh mint)
  • 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • Green food coloring (optional)
  • 3-1/2 cups (1-1/2 lb.) sugar
  • 1 envelope Certo Liquid Fruit Pectin

First, prepare mint infusion. Wash 1-1/2 cups firmly packed mint leaves and stems. Place in a large saucepan and crush with a masher or glass. Add 2-1/4 cups water and bring to a boil. Remove from heat, cover, and let stand 10 minutes. Strain. Measure 1-3/4 cups into saucepan. Add lemon juice and a few drops of green food coloring if you decided to use it. Stir in sugar and mix well.

Place over high heat and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. At once stir in Certo. Then bring to a full rolling boil and boil hard 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, skim off foam with a metal spoon, and pour quickly into jars.

Wipe the rims of the jars and screw on the lids. Turn the jars upside down for at least thirty minutes (or as long as hours and hours–doesn’t matter). Turn the jars right side up and let cool completely before marking and storing.

Many times it can take more than a day for the jelly to set. Try not to worry. If it really does not set, then you have a nice batch of syrup or you can try to process it again. I have never done that, I just go the syrup route. C’est la vie.

I usually, not always, use Certo Liquid Fruit Pectin for my jelly. The recipe booklet that I use is from 1975 when the liquid pectin came in bottles. Now the pectin comes in sealed envelopes and each envelope is equivalent to one half-bottle. My recipe booklet is falling apart. The new recipe sheet that comes inside the packages now isn’t as comprehensive as the old one. I do not water-bath can my jelly. There is enough sugar in it to act as a preservative. Using canning lids keeps air from getting in. When I was a child, my mother only used paraffin to cover the jelly and many people still do it that way.

  • This is how I prep for a jelly-making session
  • Set out enough sanitized jars and rings to match the yield of the recipe, either pints, cups, or half-cups.
  • Put the appropriate number of lids into a small saucepan of water over low heat.
  • Set out my canning funnel, a ladle, metal serving spoon, and small dish.
  • Cut open the envelope of Certo and set it in the small dish.
  • [The small dish is for the foam (which is just as delicious as the jelly, only foamy)]

I usually, not always, use Certo Liquid Fruit Pectin for my jam. The recipe booklet that I use is from 1975 when the liquid pectin came in bottles. Now the pectin comes in sealed envelopes and each envelope is equivalent to one half-bottle. As you can see, my recipe booklet is falling apart. The new recipe sheet that comes inside the packages now isn’t as comprehensive as the old one. I do not water-bath can my jam. There is enough sugar in it to act as a preservative. Using canning lids keeps air from getting in. When I was a child, my mother only used paraffin to cover the jam and many people still do it that way.

  • This is how I prep for a jam-making session
  • Set out enough sanitized jars and rings to match the yield of the recipe, either pints, cups, or half-cups.
  • Put the appropriate number of lids into a small saucepan of water over low heat.
  • Set out my canning funnel, a ladle, metal serving spoon, and small dish.
  • Cut open the envelope of Certo and set it in the small dish.
  • [The small dish is for the foam (which is just as delicious as the jam, only foamy)]
  • Rhubarb Jam
  • Yield: 6-1/4 cups (4 lb.) jam
  • 3 cups prepared fruit (about 2 lb. rhubarb)
  • 5-1/2 cups (2 lb. 6 oz.) sugar
  • 1 envelope Certo Liquid Fruit Pectin

First, prepare fruit. Slice thin or chop about 2 pounds rhubarb. Put the rhubarb into a medium saucepan, add 3/4 cup water, and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to simmer, covered, until the rhubarb is soft — about 1 minute. Measure 3 cups into a LARGE pan. Add sugar to pan and mix well.

Over high heat, bring to a full rolling boil and boil hard 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; at once stir in Certo. Skim the foam off with a metal spoon. Continue to stir and skim. Ladle into jars, leaving 1/2″ room at the top.

Wipe the rims of the jars and screw on the lids. Turn the jars upside down for at least thirty minutes (or as long as hours and hours–doesn’t matter). If the fruit is floating, give the jars a shake every once in awhile. Turn the jars right side up and let cool completely before marking and storing.

Many times it can take more than a day for the jam to set. Try not to worry. If it really does not set, then you have a nice batch of syrup or you can try to process it again. I have never done that, I just go the syrup route. C’est la vie.

I usually, not always, use Certo Liquid Fruit Pectin for my jam. The recipe booklet that I use is from 1975 when the liquid pectin came in bottles. Now the pectin comes in sealed envelopes and each envelope is equivalent to one half-bottle. My recipe booklet is falling apart. The new recipe sheet that comes inside the packages now isn’t as comprehensive as the old one. I do not water-bath can my jam. There is enough sugar in it to act as a preservative. Using canning lids keeps air from getting in. When I was a child, my mother only used paraffin to cover the jam and many people still do it that way. I have heard that you should not increase the recipe and/or cut the amount of sugar, something about cooking time and setting and preserving. So, stick to the recipe.

  • This is how I prep for a jam-making session
  • Set out enough sanitized jars and rings to match the yield of the recipe, either pints, cups, or half-cups.
  • Put the appropriate number of lids into a small saucepan of water over low heat.
  • Set out my canning funnel, a ladle, metal serving spoon, and small dish.
  • Cut open the envelope of Certo and set it in the small dish.
  • [The small dish is for the foam (which is just as delicious as the jam, only foamy)]
  • Rhubarb-Strawberry Jam
  • Yield: 6-1/4 cups (4 lb.) jam
  • 3-1/2 cups prepared fruit (about 1 lb. rhubarb and 1 quart strawberries)
  • 6-1/2 cups (2 lb. 6 oz.) sugar
  • 1 envelope Certo Liquid Fruit Pectin

Slice one pound rhubarb and put into saucepan. Add 1/4 cup water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and let simmer until rhubarb is soft, about 1 minute. Thoroughly crush about 1 quart fully ripe strawberries. Mix the fruits together and measure out 3-1/2 cups. Place the fruit in a LARGE pan. Add sugar to pan and mix well.

Over high heat, bring to a full rolling boil and boil hard 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; at once stir in Certo. Skim the foam off with a metal spoon. Continue to stir and skim. Ladle into jars, leaving 1/2″ room at the top.

Wipe the rims of the jars and screw on the lids. Turn the jars upside down for at least thirty minutes (or as long as hours and hours–doesn’t matter). If the fruit is floating, give the jars a shake every once in awhile. Turn the jars right side up and let cool completely before marking and storing.

Many times it can take more than a day for the jam to set. Try not to worry. If it really does not set, then you have a nice batch of syrup or you can try to process it again. I have never done that, I just go the syrup route. C’est la vie.

I want to put this on the blog so I can remember what I did because these turned out awesome and are easy to make. It was my first time making them myself. I’ve eaten them many times. All in all, I approached this with a great deal of trepidation, but it turned out to be a lot easier than I thought and I’m well-pleased with the results. It’s something I should make again. I put a lot of notes at the end.

  • Ingredient List
  • 1-2 Tbsp. cooking oil
  • 1 lb. ground pork
  • 1/2 cup minced onion
  • 3 minced garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrot
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced cabbage
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onion
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • Lumpia wrappers (14-15 should do it), thawed
  • Cooking oil for frying
  • Sweet Chili Sauce

Coat the bottom of a skillet with cooking oil and fry the ground pork until no longer pink. Remove from skillet to bowl. Strain off, and discard, all but a couple tablespoons of fat. In the skillet, stir fry onion and garlic until onion is translucent. Stir in vegetables, cooked pork, salt and pepper, and soy sauce. Keep the skillet over heat just a little while to soften the vegetables slightly. They will continue cooking off the heat. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.

Set a lumpia wrapper in front of you and place about 3 Tbsp. of filling near the bottom of the wrapper sheet. Roll up a little way, then fold in the sides to make an envelope. Dap the remaining wrapper edge with water and continue rolling. Check to make sure the seam is sealed.

Set the roll onto a plate and go onto the next one. Once you’re finished with the rolls, heat about 1/2-1″ oil in a skillet medium-hot. Using tongs set lumpia into oil. Turn to another side once the first side is brown and continue this way until the roll is brown all over. Remove from skillet and set on paper towels to soak extra oil. Wait till they cool off a little before dipping in Sweet Chili Sauce and wolfing down.

  • NOTES
  • I use real lumpia wrappers. They are round, about 8″ diameter. They came in a box that was supposed to be frozen, but was thawed by the time it got into my house. I kept the box in the refrigerator for a couple days and they worked just fine. There was no indication of how many were in the box, but my estimate is more than 30. This recipe made 14 lumpia. Lumpia wrappers are incredibly thin. I watched a video of how they’re made and basically the dough is just smeared across the frying pan and then peeled off. Thank goodness the box of wrappers has plastic between each wrapper. The plastic sheet may be thicker than the lumpia wrapper itself.
  • Online I’ve seen that many people use egg-roll wrappers instead of lumpia wrappers. I cannot speak to that as I’ve never tried it.
  • The good reason for using cooked filling ingredients, rather than raw, is that you can fry the lumpia quickly and get that nice crispy outside texture without worry that the meat is cooked through on the inside. The frying part of this went very, very quickly on a fairly high oil temperature.
  • Once you dab water on the lumpia wrapper you need to finish rolling it immediately or the wrapper disintegrates. Just sayin’.
  • My friend who makes these a lot uses pork, carrots, cabbage, and french-cut green beans. The filling recipe is flexible and I think every family has their own way of doing it.
  • I read online someone said the filling is easier to work with if it’s been refrigerated. That sounds right. I think you’d end up with more uniform rolls and could make them larger.
  • Also, I read that you can very easily freeze the lumpia rolls before you fry them, just make sure to separate with wax paper or something like that so they won’t stick to each other. Don’t thaw first, but be careful of spatter while you’re frying frozen food. You might have to fry at a lower temperature, too, but I’m not sure as I have not tried this.
  • Lumpia was our dinner and two of us ate a dozen of them.

This is a super fast and delicious dish. The recipe started at OneGoodThingByJillee. Hers makes a ton, so I’ve cut it down and changed it slightly. I use Old El Paso brand Stand ‘n Stuff taco shells. There are ten shells in each box. In an 11×7″ baking dish you can fit 8 shells and that makes plenty for three people. They stand up beautifully, so there’s very little finagling. They are gluten-free. If you do not have access to these beauties, you’ll have to eyeball things to make it work. Jill has instructions on her site on how to make hard-shells from soft corn tortillas. I did try that one time, but I found it to be too tricky. The very best thing on Jill’s site is her recipe for taco seasoning and I make that ALL the time. I added a triple-recipe below.

  • Baked Taco Ingredients
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 3 Tbsp. taco seasoning (or one store-bought envelope)
  • 8 oz. can tomato sauce
  • 1 cup (1/2 of a 15oz. can) refried beans
  • 8 Stand ‘n Stuff taco shells
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar or Mexican mix cheese
  • Toppings of your choice (sour cream, salsa, jalapenos, etc.)

Prepare an 11×7″ baking dish by spraying with non-stick spray. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

In a frying pan, brown ground beef. Sprinkle with taco seasoning and then stir in tomato sauce and refried beans. Set the taco shells into the dish as pictured. Distribute the ground beef mixture evenly into all the taco shells. Sprinkle shredded cheese over all the shells. Bake at 400 degrees for ten minutes or until the cheese is melted. Top with your favorite toppings. Voila! Done! Inhale!

  • Triple-Batch Taco Seasoning Ingredients
  • 6 Tbsp. chili powder (I use ancho chili powder)
  • 1-1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1-1/2 tsp. onion powder
  • 1-1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1-1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 Tbsp. paprika
  • 3 Tbsp. ground cumin
  • 3 Tbsp. kosher salt
  • 2 Tbsp. pepper

Mix all together and use 2-3 Tbsp. for each pound of meat. For tacos, I sprinkle it over cooked ground beef, then stir in a little water and cook until the water evaporates. I also use this mix on beef or chicken fajita-makings and other types of meat. I sprinkle it on before or after cooking, it just depends. No rules! This batch should last you a good long while.

I ate half of this all by myself. Burp. The recipe from my cousin Pam calls for 6 Swai fillets and yields about 10-12 servings as a snack. I cut the recipe and used two fillets. It still makes enough to feed four, or three if one of them eats half of it. Just sayin’. I’m going to list the ingredients, but the amounts are really up to you.

  • Ingredients
  • Swai fillets (I have used other whitefish at different times, still quite tasty)
  • Lime juice
  • Salt
  • Tomatoes, diced
  • Cucumbers, diced
  • Jalapenos or serranos (pictured here are jalapenos), diced
  • Red onion, diced
  • Cilantro, chopped
  • Avocado, diced
  • Tortilla chips

Slice the fish into tidbits, about 1/2″ pieces. Place into a large bowl and cover with lime juice. This time I used bottled lime juice, but I’ve also squeezed fresh — takes a lot of limes! Make sure there is enough lime juice to cover the fish. Sprinkle generously with salt (for 2 Swai fillets I used about 1/2 Tbsp. salt). Cover the bowl and let stand refrigerated for an hour (longer is fine).

Chop remaining ingredients, except avocado and chips, and stir into the fish mix. Taste for salt and add more if needed. Cover and let stand refrigerated for an hour (longer is fine).

Just before serving, stir in the avocado. Serve with tortilla chips.

The affectionately named Sweet Baby Jesus! Sauce is a recipe I stole from my brother. It is a peach habanero barbecue sauce. I’ve made it a few times now and it’s universally loved by the people I give it to. Those that can’t take spicy food of any sort will not tolerate this sauce and those that are looking for extreme spiciness will be sadly disappointed. I would characterize it as a medium-spicy sauce. Today’s batch made my eyes water. So, there’s that. It’s got a rich flavor and the heat hits you on the back end. The day that I made this and took the photos, I made a double batch. The recipe given here is for a single batch. The yield is about 4 pints.

  • INGREDIENTS
  • 8 fresh habanero chiles
  • 2 16-oz cans peaches (I use the ones in heavy syrup for more sugar content, but I doubt it really matters)
  • 3 cups tomato ketchup
  • 1 cup cider vinegar
  • 3/4 cup dark corn syrup
  • 3/4 cup prepared yellow mustard
  • 2 Tbsp. salt
  • 2 Tbsp. paprika
  • 1 Tbsp. chili powder (I use an ancho chile blend)
  • 3 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1-1/2 Tbsp. ground cumin
  • 1-1/2 Tbsp. ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp. ground coriander
  • 2 tsp. ginger powder

Preparation is key here. WEAR GLOVES for this part. I use a dedicated cutting mat for use with preparing fresh chiles. A small spoon can be helpful in scraping the seeds out. Get everything ready: gloves, special cutting board or mat, spoon for scraping, trash bag, large cooking pot, food processor or blender. WEAR GLOVES! Be careful not to touch anything other than the habaneros, especially your eyes. When you’re ready to do this, remove seeds and stems from the habaneros, retaining the seeds from one chile only. Put the seeds from the one chile into a large cooking pot.

Chop the flesh of the stemmed and seeded habaneros and place them into a food processor or blender with the peaches and their juice. Puree. Pour the puree into the large cooking pot with the retained seeds. Stir in all the remaining ingredients.

Bring to a boil over medium heat and then reduce heat to simmer for 45 minutes to an hour, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat when the mixture has the consistency that you like for barbecue sauce. Voila! You’re done. Keep reading if you want to preserve your sauce in jars.

This yields about 4 pints. I put mine into pint jars, 3/4-pint jars, and 1/2-pint jars.

With the amount of vinegar called for in the recipe, in addition to what’s already in the tomato ketchup and prepared yellow mustard, I doubt that it is necessary to water-bath can these. Simply turning them upside down until they’re sealed is probably enough to keep the food safe. HOWEVER, sometimes I can be paranoid, so I canned these in a water bath for 15 minutes.

In a large cooking pot (or canner), put a rack of some type (I use a telescoping steamer basket) to keep the jars from rocking in the boiling water and breaking (yes, this has happened to me, thus the rack). Fill the pot with water to a point that it won’t spill over once the jars are in it. Fill a tea kettle with water. Bring the cooking pot of water and the tea kettle to a boil. Cover and let simmer on low if you’re not ready yet.

Fill the jars, leaving about 1/2-inch of head space. Make sure your canner water is boiling. Wipe the jar rims. Screw lids onto jars and carefully place the jars into your canner. I have a jar lifter for this purpose. The jars should not touch each other. Pour the water from the teakettle into the canner so that there’s a couple inches of water over the tops of the jars. Let it simmer for fifteen minutes. Carefully remove the jars from the water. Let the jars cool. When pressing the lids with your thumb, there should be no “give.” If it still bounces up and down after canning and cooling, you should keep it refrigerated until it’s used.

So, the time has come. I just placed an order for an actual canner. It comes with a legit rack. This should make things much simpler for me and it’s become worth it since I do a lot of pickle canning in August. Stay tuned!