Saturday, June 14, 2008

So about that jam....

I said I would post my experience, and I'm getting there :) It's been a crazy week this past week. My last week at my full time job was insane (as I suspected) and there's been a HUGE fire in the area. It came dangerously close to my mom's house, but the firemen stopped it at the road, luckily. While it is still burning, my mom's house is out of danger, so I can finally relax a little. Okay, back to jam.

I made two kinds, Cherry and Apricot. Both were surprisingly easy. I finally found a cherry pitter at my mom's house and pitted 5 cups of cherries. I remember why I hated this job as a kid. My fingers were stained purple from the juice until I soaked them in lemon juice. Gross!

Then I threw the cherries in a big pot with lemon juice and took a cell phone pic when it was all bubbly.

Sweet. I tossed in 1/2 tsp of margarine to keep it from foaming, then scooped it into jars. Piece of cake! The hot jars sealed themselves and I went home to make my apricot jam. I was a little better about pictures this time, but I think that ended up being a problem.

Here is my 5 cups of chopped and pitted apricots.

And here are the apricots and lemon juice in the pot, with pectin.

Here I am adding 7 cups of sugar. 7 cups! It was way too many, even though it's what the recipe called for. blech. anyways....

Here it is bubbling and boiling like crazy. Yum. BUT...see those little black spots? I burned it. That's what I get for multi tasking.

Then, I ladled it into Jars. A note of advice for your own jam....don't just ladle it. Get a funnel! Not only did I ladle it into the jars, I ladled that sticky crap all over my counter. Fun times.

Then, I turned the jars upside down. (You'll notice I used paper towels for this. I broke my 6 month no paper towel freeze. I thought they would be more sanitary then a dirty old kitched towel.) After about 5 minutes I flipped them upright and one by the seals went "pop" as the jam cooled. This means that the lid is sealed, and the jam will last for a year. Well, at least I thought they all sealed. Except this trouble maker. It exploded instead.

And the final result of both:


So the good points: Made my jam, had fun, used up lots of fruit, it's pretty

And the bad: Too sweet! It's like diabetes in a jar, very messy, boiling jam burns when it boils out of the pot onto a finger, messy counter tops, time consuming.

So you'll notice there is no recipe posted on here. It was so sweet it's almost gross. I won't ever use it again (it was the recipe in the ball pectin package). My boss gave me an easy recipe for freezer jam, and my mom just called to say the peaches were ripe, so I guess that's next!

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