The Provision Room – Putting Up Jams & Jellies {part VI}

 “For days, Mother and the girls made jellies and jams and preserves,
and for every meal there was huckleberry pie or blueberry pudding.”
Farmer Boy, Laura Ingalls Wilder



A family’s Provision Room would  just not be complete without home canned goods.

Today, we shall talk about putting up jams and jellies – one of the easier and quick rewarding aspects of home canning.

There is something very lovely and, may I say, romantic and satisfying, about home canned food. If you have never been taught how to can, do not be afraid to start learning. All it takes is time, determination and healthy source of fruits or vegetables. With the internet and wonderful books, there are endless resources to help you begin.

If you are new to the procedures, a very good place to start is this website. It is also wonderful for seasoned canners, as it just gives you a good reminder every now and then of what is required. It will teach you everything you need to know. Canning is not as hard as it looks, but it does take time and dedication. It will mess up your kitchen {which is why I choose to can outside – it is more fun that way, as well, plus I can still be with the children during the summer and fall months as we mostly live outside} and require a chunk of time that was perhaps used for other indulgences.

However, the end reward is beautiful and you, I guarantee, will be hooked on filling your Provision Room shelves with jars of lovely food.


Your canning adventures starts in the late spring/early summer with jams and jellies – the first fruits available from your local farmer’s. {Try to choose organic, if you can. It will make a huge difference.}  We are blessed to have an organic strawberry farm right around the corner from our house, also run by a beautiful and friendly large family. Making homemade jam is not challenging and you will be delighted to see that delicious spread just asking to be eaten for breakfast each morning. The best time to pick your luscious, ripe strawberries is early in the morning, when you are fresh and the sun is not hot. Children are happier to pick in the morning, as well, as they are full of energy and enthusiasm.


A note to mothers: Encourage your children to help alongside of you – do not allow for complaining or grumbling, even if they become bored, hot and tired of picking the berries. Have races to see who will fill their basket first – or just enjoy the quiet of the morning while you pick. Whenever we go to pick strawberries, there are always local Mennonites picking at the same time. It is inspirational for my children to see their children working with their mothers, filling a truckload with their ripe berries. Often times, you will hear them singing while they work. What a beautiful example!

Once you have collected your berries, it will be time to make jam. Do not let your berries sit too long as they quickly turn to mush and some will spoil.

Once you have collected your berries, it will be time to make jam. Do not let your berries sit too long as they quickly turn to mush and some will spoil.

Here is a great tutorial on the basics of canning to help you get started. Here is another tutorial simply on making jam.



In some recipes, you can reduce the sugar amounts, others are more finicky. Play around with recipes and see what becomes your favorite. We have definitely adapted some recipes over time, reducing the sugar and even leaving out the pectin. You will find out what you like as you being your jam-making.
Here are a few recipes for your future jam-making projects:

Strawberry Rhubarb Jam

Blueberry Jam

Pectin Free Peach Jam

Plum Apple Jam

Mint Jelly






In the middle of winter, with the sparkling snow whirling about outside and chilly temperatures forcing cozy fires to continue non-stop, there is nothing more satisfying that a slice of warm, homemade bread with a spreading of homemade preserves.



If you have missed the other posts in regards to building up your Provision Room, here are some links:

The Original Provision Room post

Part I – The Provision Room Update
Part II – The Pantry
Part III – Make Your Own Mixes
Part IV- Buying in Bulk
Part V – Growing your Own

P.S. I have just finished a batch of winter-inspired Orange Marmalade,
which I will hopefully post a recipe for shortly.

February 13, 2017 - 1:32 pm

Mrs.O Dear Gigi– so sweet of you to take time with such a thoughtful response. No, never had previous trouble, I just tend to worry about that. You have stated it so matter-of-factly, it has actually eased my mind a bit today!
I couldn’t agree more with you on children needing to play outside. What a lovely post.
Good, old fashioned childhood.
God bless you!

February 6, 2017 - 5:28 am

admin Alice, what a sweet comment! Thank you for taking the time to encourage me. I’m delighted to hear about your Provision Room! What a great husband! You will have so much fun filling it. 🙂

February 5, 2017 - 11:26 pm

Alice Thank you so much for each and every blog entry . You are a real encouragement for so many others. I enjoy your writings very much and share your blog with other moms…including my daughter – in -laws. Just recently my husband built me a ‘provision room’ and hope to set it up similar to the way you did.
You have been a real blessing to me and my family.

February 2, 2017 - 5:08 pm

admin For water bath canning, which I recommend you begin with, you can use two sizes of pots and both are affordable. Here is a link for the smaller one (usually used for smaller jars, jams, jellies, salsa, etc.)
And here is the other option:

In time, if you decide to learn about pressure canning, you can look into such options. They are more costly. You will use a pressure canner for foods that contain vegetables and meats. Pressure canning is a bit more intimidating, although not that difficult once you begin – I would start with the jams first and work you way into pressure canning. If you have questions, I will gladly answer them for you. 🙂

February 2, 2017 - 4:43 pm

Our Home of Many Blessings Do you have a suggestion for a canning pot and such to use? I also have a large family and I don’t know anything about what kind of canning equipment I need.