DIY Canning Recipes for Christmas Gifts
Guest post by Jessica
Ask almost anyone what their favorite time of year is and they will answer with the holiday season. Folks love giving gifts as much as they love receiving, and a favorite type of gift to both give and receive is a homemade gift. Foods are an excellent choice for holiday gifts as they are well-loved by people of all ages. Canned foods make perfect gifts for family, friends, and co-workers. Best of all, one can successfully make a number of canned holiday gifts at once, then personalize them with themed decor and food labels.
Jams and jellies are perhaps the canned foods that are most welcome during the holiday season. Choose a jam that is reminiscent of the holidays for a special treat, then decorate the jar for gift giving. One recipe that is always welcome is for cranberry jam. Cranberry jam can be difficult to find in stores, but is simple to make and delicious to eat. When making cranberry jam, don’t forget to save a few jars for your own use!
(yield 5 half pint jars)
- 2 cups fresh cranberries (you may substitute frozen if fresh cranberries are not available)
- 16 oz mixed berries
- 1 orange, peeled and cut into sections
- 3 cups sugar
- 3 oz liquid fruit pectin
- Combine cranberries and orange sections in a food processor, processing lightly. Remove to a large sauce pan with mixed berries and sugar. Bring mixture to a rolling boil for one minute, stirring constantly.
- Remove sauce pan from heat. Stir in liquid fruit pectin. Skim off the foam and ladle into hot half-pint jars. Leave 1/4 inch head space and wipe rims. Process jars for 10 minutes in a water canner. Note: Mixed berries can be substituted for your favorite type of berries. Strawberries or raspberries work particularly well with this recipe.
- Once you have processed the jams, it is time to decorate your new jars. The first and most important part of decorating homemade canned goods is the food labels. Food labels can be fun and festive or serious and to the point. The important thing to remember when creating food labels is to list any ingredients that one might be allergic to. Outside of this, you can personalize food labels with your name or the name of the recipient. A nice saying like “holiday greetings” could always replace “from the kitchen of:”
Decorating Food Jars
Along with the food labels, there are many ways to decorate food jars for gift giving. An easy and inexpensive way to decorate cranberry jam is to tie a festive piece of ribbon around the jar’s lid. Attach a spray of artificial cranberries purchased from a craft store and the decorating is done. For a more elaborate decoration, use a square of soft fabric or tissue paper to wrap around the lid. With a rubber band or ribbon, tie the base of the paper on, then tuck a sprig of holly in the wrapper itself.
When presenting the cranberry jam, consider doing so with a gift basket. If you have made several types of jams and jellies, place them all together for gift giving, along with a spoon or spreader and some freshly baked breads. Even on its own, cranberry jam is a delectable addition to anyone’s holiday table and a gift welcomed by all.
About the author:
Jessica is a specialist in product label printing. During her free time she loves to cook and can her own jellies and pie fillings. When she’s not in the kitchen you can find her walking her dog or running around the park.