and i’m jammin’August 11, 2009 at 7:48 pm | Posted in food, plans | 2 Comments
so i’m back! but more on that later. first things first.
jam. in my profile, i mentioned that last year, i started experimenting with jams and preserves. i went a little wild (my cold store had a ginormous shelf, covered with half pint jars, lined up like colourful, fruity soldiers) but it was a success. everyone got a jar at christmas and now my friends and family keep asking for more! i knew i had to do it again. besides, the fruit at the market is too hard to resist. (shhhh…. i did spend $30 on cherries one week!)
i documented bits and pieces of my process of a few different batches so here goes:
the boring parts are jar sterilization and the boiling of the jars after. i did not photograph this. everything else is beautiful, vibrant and positively delicious.
first cut up the fruit into chunks. you only have to do this if you have big fruit, like these apricots. raspberries can remain whole. cherries should be partially cut (you have to leave at least 25% whole so people can see all your hard work pitting!)
in a pot, with the sugar (about 40-50% of the total). did you notice that i switched to plum?
and boil and boil
wrinkle test. put a white plate in the freezer right as you start your jam. when it seems like it might be done, spoon a dollop onto the plate and put it back in the freezer for a few minutes. if you can push it with your finger and see wrinkles, as above, your jam is done. stop boiling and proceed. if it’s still too liquidy, carry on.
take a sterilized jar out of the dishwasher or boiling water bath. the funnel is invaluable. you have got to keep the rim of the jar clean for a proper seal.
spoon your jam carefully into the jar, leaving about 1/2 inch headspace at the top.
grab a lid out of the boiling water bath (for sterilization) with your magnetic wand. place it on the jar and tighten your ring.
then put the jars in boiling water, covered by at least 1 inch of water and the lid of the pot and boil for 5-10 minutes, as directed.
plum and apricot soldiers
so i’m going to the healthy living summit in boston this coming weekend. i am beyond excited! i love boston and it has been a handful of years since my last visit. plus the conference sounds super fun and i’m really looking forward to meeting all the people behind my favorite blogs and making loads of new friends. caitlin sent out an email to attendees the other week, asking for donations for a silent auction “bake sale” to raise money for her Team in Training for the Disney Marathon at the summit. i thought of all the things i could bake that would transport well by plane AND be different from what everyone else would be bringing. all the usual suspects came to mind: trail mix, granola, bars, cookies, blah blah blah. but then JAM! caitlin thought it would be a great idea, so i picked a selection from my so far hoard to package up for bidding. if you are a lucky summit attendee, this is what you can get your hands on:
the labels aren’t super clear from this photo, but from top left, going clockwise: apricot-thyme preserves, plum and vanilla preserves, apple butter (i made this in the fall), and strawberry-basil-lemon preserves. all fruit is locally source from small family growers. herbs were picked from my backyard. yum! all for the highest bidder
i’ll be blogging at the summit and i have a few awesome(ly funny) posts lined up. i’m going to try and have much less time between posts. life keeps getting in the way.