Cara wanted to try a new project this year in 4-H. She chose to try canning for the first time. For her first year, we kept it simple and Cara signed up to take a jar of jelly to the fair. First, we had to find a recipe, research how to make jelly according to USDA guidelines, and make the product.
|Cara turning in her jelly after being judged.|
This jelly was easy to make. First, Cara cleaned and cut up 5 cups of rhubarb. Then she cooked it in a pot with water and sugar. When the rhubarb got mushy, she added a can of blueberry pie filling. The mixture had to boil for about 8 minutes. Then we added two boxes of raspberry jello and a pouch of liquid pectin. The jelly was not setting up after boiling a little bit so we added another pouch of liquid pectin and did another spoon test. Then we blended the mixture smooth in a blender and filled the jelly jars. Cara had her ruler out because we could only have 1/4 inch head room at the top of the jar. After filling the jars, we processed the jars in a hot water canning bath for 10 minutes. All of the jars sealed.
Cara went before the judge on Wednesday morning with her jar of jelly. The judge measured her head room and it was spot on. Then she tilted the jar on its side and the jelly stayed solid and did not move (which is what is supposed to happen). She asked Cara questions about her recipe, how the product was packed, processing time, altitude for processing time, etc.
In the end, Cara received a purple ribbon for her rhubarb jelly! The judge also asked Cara what she is going to can for next year's fair. Cara is ready for the tomatoes to ripen so that she can help can salsa.