This post is sponsored by Newell Brands, makers of Ball® Home Canning products; however, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

I have fond memories of eating marmalade spread over toast with my grandparents as a kid. It was always a tart orange marmalade and I loved biting into tiny zests of orange peel on my perfectly crisp toast. We all sat around the bar in the kitchen while my grandparents drank their coffee and we ate slice after slice after slice until our hearts were content. I still can taste that special sweet and slightly bitter flavor when I think about it.
So, when Ball® Home Canning asked if I would like to try my hand at doing a little canning and preserving at home to celebrate 135 years of Ball® Heritage, I knew I had to do it. Who says no to homemade jams, marmalades and sauces? And who among us doesn't have at least one or two Ball® jars sitting in their cabinet for one reason or another? It's no surprise to me that they're the #1 consumer brand for mason jars. I also love that they're BPA free.

Because we're at the peak of strawberry season I thought it the perfect time to test my canning skills with my new Ball® Preserving Starter Kit and create a Strawberry Lemonade Marmalade with the kids to enjoy with all of our favorite carbs this summer. I imagine this is going to be a family favorite because we went through one jar, a loaf of French bread and a slab of brie in half a sitting! Hello picnics in Washington Square Park! (obviously on a bright picnic blanket) With slices of crusty bread slathered with this insanely good spread in our mitts. It took serious willpower not to pop open another jar after finishing off the first one so quickly. But, I guess I could just whip up a whole new batch - turns out it actually is really easy to do. I surprised myself.

That all being said, I'm sharing the recipe, my favorite tips and how easy it is to recreate it all at home.

Grab yourself a Ball® Preserving Starter kit ($17.99), at Target. It comes with all of the tools you'll need to be the small-batch canning professional of you dreams. It also makes a great gift idea year round. I suggest you whip up some of these Strawberry Lemonade Marmalades, write down the recipe, and give a jar to a friend or family member with a Ball® Preserving Starter Kit of their own!
Strawberry Lemonade Marmalade
(yields 7  8oz, half-pint jars)
1/4 Cup Thinly Sliced Lemon Peel (about two large lemons)
4 Cups Crushed Strawberries (about 4 - 16oz packages)
1 Tbsp. Fresh Lemon Juice
6 Tbsp. Ball® Real Fruit Classic Pectin
6 Cups Of Sugar
7 Ball® (8oz) Half Pint Preserving Jars with Lids and Bands

1. Prepare Boiling Water Canner (I used a large pot with Preserving Rack included in the Ball® Preserving Starter Kit). Heat jars in simmering water until ready to use. Do not boil. Wash lids and rings with warm soapy water. Set aside.

2. Combine lemon peel and water to cover in a 6-8qt. sauce pan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and let boil for 5 minutes or until the peels are softened. Drain and discard liquid.

3. Return peels to pan. Add strawberries and lemon juice. Mix well. Gradually stir in pectin. Bring mixture to a rolling boil over high heat, stirring constantly.

4. Add 6 cups of sugar, stirring to dissolve. Return mixture to a full rolling boil. Boil hard for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.

5. Remove jars from Water Canner with the Jar lifter.

6. Laddle hot jam into jars leaving 1/4" of a headspace (measure using headspace/bubble remover tool from kit). Wipe rim. Center lid on jar. Apply band until fit is a fingertip tight. *I suggest using a dish towel to hold jars for these steps- they will be hot!

6. With the jar lifter, put the jars back into the boiling water canner and process for 10 minutes, adjusting for altitude.

7. Remove jars and cool for 12-24 hours. Check lid for seal after 24 hours. *Lid should not flex up and down when center is pressed down.

Enjoy with fresh crusty bread, brie and a sprig of basil for the perfect summer snack.