I finally broke down and bought my canning starter kit. Since strawberry season in Michigan is coming in only a few weeks I thought I had better do a practice run to make sure I know what I'm doing once the fresh fruit is in the fields! I naturally turned to Alton Brown for some guidance.
My trial run consisted of Alton's blueberry preserves and a strawberry-rhubarb recipe that was in the little booklet that came with the canning kit. Despite being a practice run I still managed to pack some local-ness into my preserves! I had one remaining bag of blueberries in the freezer from last summer and a local farmer gave me three stalks of her first crop of rhubarb! Gotta love livin' in the country!
All went well with both recipes, but I have to say Alton's blueberry was the winner. The Ball recipe had noticably more sugar which probably covered up some of the bite from the rhubarb, while the blueberry goodness came right through in the other batch. After a week of eating nothing but PBJs I'm ready for fruit picking season to open up!