Cherry Jam

4 cups pitted cherries
1/4 cup of water, or fruit juice
1/4 c lemon juice
splash of vanilla (opt)
2 1/4 c granulated sugar

Maker sure your jars are good and clean. Soak and wash in hot water. Into the hot-tub kiddies!

Go ahead and get a tall pot and fill with enough water to cover your jars. Now, you don't have to fill that sucker to the brim. Just eye ball it. Bring it to a boil while your prepping your other "stuff".

Pit your cherries and remove stems, of course. Oh, yeah, you might need to take a little taste test of one or two. Quality know.

Chop your pitted cherries in a food processor, or give a good chop to them with a knife. Whatever works for you. Just make sure you really chop 'em good if using a knife.

In large heavy saucepan, add cherries, water lemon juice and pectin. Bring to a rolling boil, stirring occasionally to make sure it doesn’t stick.  Add sugar and vanilla (opt) and stir until dissolved. Bring to a boil again for 3 full minutes. You may need to skim off any foam that rests on the top.

Fill jars with jam, leaving 1/4 – 1/2 inch headspace.  Make sure edge if jar is clean. (this is SO much easier to do with a wide-mouthed funnel).  Put on lids and bands, turning until just finger tight. Put the sealed jars in your boiling water bath and make sure  the jars are covered with an inch of water. Boil for at least 10 minutes (small jars) or 15 minutes for large jars.

Carefully remove jars from pot and set on clean towel. You’ll be able to hear the “pop” of the lids sealing within a couple of minutes.

After 12 hours, check seal to ensure it’s good, re-tighten bands and store jars in a cool dry place for up to 12 months OR, add a nice label and practice a random act of kindness and share with a neighbor, teacher, co-worker or friend. It'll feel better than it tastes.

Recipe ends up making five 8 oz. jars with a little extra left over for fresh eating.

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