Holy carp. I go and do stuff with the kids and deal with way too many strawberries (50lbs this week, give or take), and I have a ton of messages to wade through. Yikes.
Carlyn ~ *I* think the book (Complete Book of Home Preserving) is totally worth the price. Hubby got it for me for Christmas or my birthday last year. It already has splatters on various pages from all the use it's already gotten - in just a year!
Owen'nZoe ~ You can also jerry-rig a rack for the bottom of your processing/canning pot using canning lids. Just attach them together somehow (de-papered twist ties or something?), and viola! Found a neat photo of that trick in my canning book. Yes, I just read it for fun sometimes when I'm stuck nursing in one spot for a while or am stuck elsewhere for a little bit...
radish ~ Lots. So far I have... probably 24-28 half-pints of strawberry jam in the freezer. Will probably do 5-14 half-pints of raspberry jam as well when those finally start to ripen. But I still have my canned stuff down in the basement from last year to rely upon as well. I'm just taking the quick/easy way out with jam this year. Seems I'm only allowed to can past 11:30pm, yet the kids wake up at 7:30.
Darned kids. But, we're also in the season of quick/easy/cool meals, and pb&j is right up there. My kids *love* jam and would eat it by the spoonful if I let them.
I'm in the middle of processing some strawberry pie topping/filling. I managed to burn one batch already, but luckily it just had the sugar, water and ClearJel in it and not the berries yet. I would've cried. So, I'm waiting for my pot to soak so I can wash it and start that second batch again here when the first one's about done in the canner. And I got all the jam in the freezer, as well as the puree for the lemonade concentrate. Costco's out of their giant bags of lemons because they're having supplier issues. *sigh* At least freezing the puree won't hurt it, just takes a few of my containers out of commission for a little bit.