Monday, December 3, 2007

Sweet Homemade Favor


I love to cook maybe more than I love planning weddings. Cooking is probably a really close second. I've been trying to do a lot of homemade cooking lately and it's been great. I was watching Ina Garten's show Barefoot Contessa on Food Network the other day and she made homemade strawberry jam. I could not believe how easy it was. I thought instantly what a great wedding favor that would be. Remember, your wedding favors should be useful or edible, if not they go in the TRASH!! It's hard to believe that your guests would throw your cute little favor away, but yes they will if they find it useless. So why not give your guests something yummy! Now if you have 200 guests, you may need to consider another favor, unless you have great bridesmaids, because it would take a gazillion years to make enough for everyone. Now to make it personal add a personal label saying something like " Our sweetest thanks, love Bride and Groom" with a beautiful ribbon. If you're interested here is the recipe below:

2 cups sugar
1 large lemon, zested and juiced
1 1/2 pints fresh strawberries, hulled and halved
.
Combine the sugar, lemon zest, and lemon juice in a small saucepan and cook over very low heat for 10 minutes, until the sugar is dissolved. Add the strawberries and continue to cook over very low heat for 20 minutes, until the strawberries release some of their juices and the mixture boils slowly. Cook until a small amount of the juice gels on a very cold plate. (I keep one in the freezer.) Pour carefully into 2 pint canning jars and either seal or keep refrigerated. Use immediately, or follow proper canning guidelines below.

Tips on Sterilizing Jars:
Properly-handled sterilized equipment will keep canned foods in good condition for years. Sterilizing jars is the first step of preserving foods.

Sterilizing Tips:
Jars should be made from glass and free of any chips or cracks. Preserving or canning jars are topped with a glass, plastic, or metal lid, which has a rubber seal. Two piece lids are best for canning, as they vacuum seal when processed.

To sterilize jars, before filling with jams, pickles, or preserves, wash jars and lids with hot, soapy water. Rinse well and arrange jars and lids open sides up, without touching, on a tray. Leave in a preheated 175 degree F oven for 25 minutes. Or, boil the jars and lids in a large saucepan, covered with water, for 15 minutes.

Use tongs when handling the hot sterilized jars, to move them from either boiling water or the oven. Be sure the tongs are sterilized too, by dipping the ends in boiling water for a few minutes.

As a rule, hot preserves go into hot jars and cold preserves go into cold jars. All items used in the process of making jams, jellies, and preserves must be clean. This includes any towels used, and especially your hands.

After the jars are sterilized, you can preserve the food. It is important to follow any canning and processing instructions included in the recipe and refer to USDA guidelines about the sterilization of canned products.

Tips on Sterilizing Jars
Properly-handled sterilized equipment will keep canned foods in good condition for years. Sterilizing jars is the first step of preserving foods.

Sterilizing Tips:
Jars should be made from glass and free of any chips or cracks. Preserving or canning jars are topped with a glass, plastic, or metal lid, which has a rubber seal. Two piece lids are best for canning, as they vacuum seal when processed.

To sterilize jars, before filling with jams, pickles, or preserves, wash jars and lids with hot, soapy water. Rinse well and arrange jars and lids open sides up, without touching, on a tray. Leave in a preheated 175 degree F oven for 25 minutes. Or, boil the jars and lids in a large saucepan, covered with water, for 15 minutes.

Use tongs when handling the hot sterilized jars, to move them from either boiling water or the oven. Be sure the tongs are sterilized too, by dipping the ends in boiling water for a few minutes.

As a rule, hot preserves go into hot jars and cold preserves go into cold jars. All items used in the process of making jams, jellies, and preserves must be clean. This includes any towels used, and especially your hands.

After the jars are sterilized, you can preserve the food. It is important to follow any canning and processing instructions included in the recipe and refer to USDA guidelines about the sterilization of canned products.

Image Courtesy of MacMonkies

4 comments:

Apryl said...

What a GREAT idea!!

Terrica said...

You're a rockstar! This idea is fantastic-- and with all the shapes, colors, etc. of jars out there, the possibilities are endless. And what better way to extend the couple's wedding brand?

SJB Weddings & Events said...

I'm glad you guys like it!

Sacred Moment Weddings said...

I love to cook too, Shanika! The Food Network LIVES on my TV screen! This recipe sounds perfect for a southern style wedding I'm planning here in Arizona. Got you on my blog reading list, diva!! I like your vibe!! Happy Cooking!