Post # 1
Ok, I am starting to get excited because after being on WB for about an hour…I think that I like the Jam idea as a wedding favor. One: my theme colors is “berry” colors. Two: we are having it a winery/ranch so it goes with our venue.
BUT… how does one go about making jam? Have you done this before? Is it hard? How much do you think it costs?
Lots of questions. Any help is greatly appreciated.
Post # 3
Jam is a great favor. It is not that hard to make. You can make freezer jam or processed jam. For you, you would probably want to do freezer jam because it is easier and you won’t have to purchase a canner. I always make the processed jam. For me, it turns out better.
Here is a link to processed jam. It looks pretty easy. I use the one that is in the pectin box. This one doesn’t use pectin.
This one is for freezer jam and uses pectin.
The most expensive part of making jam is your jars and your berries. Make sure you figure out how many jars you will need and how many berries you will need before you go shopping for them. You can find jars at yard sales, department stores, some hardware stores, and sometimes at a craft store. Or you can also find them online at amazon. If you purchase them online, make sure you do your research to make sure you aren’t paying more for them with the shipping than you would if you purchased them from a store. If you purchase from a yard sale make sure you check the jar mouths for nicks and breakages. You want to make sure your jars are in new condition. If you purchase your jars at a yard sale they will probably not come with lids or seals. You can purchase those separately from the places I already mentioned. Do not reuse your seals. They won’t seal properly.
Post # 4
Don’t rule out buying jam – I’ve never made it, but it sounds like a lot of trouble, personally….
These are little, but they’re less than 50c each!
Post # 5
Noritake gave some really good advice. I made jam as favors using the recipe on the pectin box. It was actually a lot of fun, but a messy process! We also added a spoonful of applesauce to each one to add a little sweetness and to make our berries go a little farther.
Post # 6
We are making raspbery jam as favours too! I think the little jars will look beautiful on our tables 🙂
It’s super easy to make, but does require a lot of fruit (we have to make ~200 jars), which can add up pretty quickly.
We’re talking to a few different hardware stores to see if we can get a deal on the jars since we’re buying in bulk.
Raspberry is especially easy, as it has natural pectin in the seeds and therefore doesn’t require anything like Certo. This gives a pretty good tutorial: http://www.wikihow.com/Make-Red-Raspberry-Jam
Post # 7
I think that’s a great idea, and I think it’s what we’re doing! Can’t help you with your questions though… my mom is a jam QUEEN so she’ll be making ours 🙂
Post # 8
If you wanted to make strawberry jam, you would have time to pick your own berries, since they come into season in May/June. Look for local pick your own farms! That can defray the costs somewhat. I make mine with the pectin box recipe.
Post # 9
I was going to say the same thing as stephbolt — Also another way to cut costs (especially w/ strawberries) — go to farmer’s markets and ask about “seconds” These are the berries that are picked out from the “perfect ones” b/c of imperfections — they are often used for pies/jam/etc —-They can save you a TON of money!!
I also want to do jam for favors and am pretty sure we’re doing freezer jelly 🙂 Good luck — oh if you do this — post pics!
Post # 10
We purchased little jars of honey and gave them as favors. They were a big hit and similar to jam, a sweet, edible treat.
Just bear in mind that you want to try to keep your jars to 3 oz or less so that people can carry them on to airplanes with them. Now that most airlines charge baggage fees, fewer people check bags and it would stink for them to have to throw away their jam before they fly home…
Post # 11
@Farfromachildbride – would you mind sharing where you bought your honey favors?
Can anyone else help me out with sources for buying ready made honey/jam that actually tastes good / looks pretty?
Post # 12
We are doing jam as favors. I have never made it before and am planning on making them this weekend. I am using liquid certo and and using the recipe on the box. I’ll let you know how it goes!
Post # 13
We made grape jelly for our wedding favors with grape juice, pectin and sugar. It was time consuming but not too hard!
Post # 14
ooh! Really love the jam/honey idea! Though thinking the honey idea would go well w. my theme..;)
plus awesome reminder @farfromachildbride about the 3oz. or less for traveling guests! 🙂 Thanks!!!
Post # 15
I found this site for honey favors! Awesome…check it out! 😀 Good luck!!!
Post # 16
We’re making jam. I’ve done it a bunch of times before so I didn’t find it so daunting, but I will say that things can go wrong! And it’s time consuming. I will also say that I think the recipes on the pectin boxes are WAY too sweet, and sometimes you can get away with less sugar (but not always). That said, using pectin will give you a much bigger yield because otherwise you have to boil the jam way down. I recommend reading up on the process and making a test batch so you get comfortable before you try to make a hundred jars in a weekend (which I would not recommend).
What we are doing is making a batch every couple of weeks over a period of months. Each batch makes about 12-16 of the 4-ounce jars. All the batches are different flavors. This makes it a more entertaining and lower-impact project, and if you have the time, I recommend it. One idea is to make “unique” flavors you can’t just buy at the grocery story – like adding herbs and spices or different fruit combinations.
Making double batches can mess things up. I don’t recommend making freezer jam unless you have a TON of freezer space, plus processing is a good way to make sure you don’t poison your loved ones.
As far as cost – we have been buying fruit in season as it goes on sale. Like peaches are cheap right now, so we made peach jam. Between jars, pectin, and fruit, we’re spending about $18 per 12 jars (not including packaging the jars) – not bad. The cheapest place I found for jars is Wal-Mart (even though I hate going there). You don’t need a whole canning set – just a couple of big pots, a set of jam tongs, and a jam funnel will do you fine. Do put a towel in the bottom of the pot you’re using to process the jam to keep the jars from breaking.
As far as carry-on luggage – unfortunately your jar size choices (if you want to process the jars) are 2 ounces (you can order them online) which is TINY, and 4 ounces. The limit is 3.4 ounces now. Hopefully 4 ounces is close enough! Honestly though…whatever. It’s the thought that counts.
Best of luck!