Today I did something I've never done before: I made jelly. I even heat processed it - although if you're not into that, keeping it in the freezer accomplishes the same thing. I just think it's neat to can something.
I made my jelly with Nanking cherries. They grow on a strange little shrubbery. I found them growing in the park where I work (in behind Boffin's, for the locals). There are a variety of edible things growing there - a few Saskatoons, some pincherries, some crabapples, and some lovely looking Nanking cherries. I've never picked them before, but after verifying via google that I did indeed find something I could make into jelly, I snuck back on my coffee break and picked the prescribed 6 cups of fruit.
Nanking Cherry Jelly
6 cups Nanking cherries
1 cup water
1 package powdered pectin, like Certo
4.5 cups sugar
1. Stem and wash Nanking cherries and place in a saucepan with water.
2. Bring to boil and simmer 15-20 minutes, until fruit is soft.
3. Line a strainer with 2 or 3 layers of cheesecloth. Place this over a bowl or another saucepan. Pour fruit into cheesecloth. Alternately, if you do this more often than I do and have a "jelly bag", or have that cone thingy that my mom uses to make jelly, use that.
6. Meanwhile, sterilize some jars. I'm a naughty home canner and reused a few I had already. This is not recommended by those people concerned with "food safety". New lids with old canning jars are fine, though. I put mine on a pan with some water in it and baked for 15 minutes at 225 degrees. Leave in the oven until time to bottle.