18 July 2007

Jammy Jam

Hmmm, I wonder if you can tell what this post is gonna be about? That's right, I made some raspberry jam! Oh it was messy, and sticky, and so hot standing over the stove while it was about 85 degrees and what felt like 80% humidity. But it was oh so good! I've never done any canning before (except for the bizarre wild Alaskan salmon canning fiasco that took place in my tiny kitchen in Berkeley a couple of years ago. And no, I don't eat salmon, so that was interesting). So I was a little nervous about the whole jar sterilization and sealing thing.

I found a bunch of books from the library about this, so that helped. Although a few of them said different things, so that wasn't so helpful. I used a recipe that jam-making expert friend Betsy gave me. It's from Martha Stewart, so I won't re-write the whole thing-here's the link. It has orange zest in it, which gives the jam a slightly unusual but really tasty flavor (I had some that she made last year and can vouch for the recipe).

For the jars, I boiled all the jars and lids (although I later read that I wasn't supposed to boil the lids-make sure to check the instructions that come with your jars or lids because I think this varies) for 15 minutes. Once the jam was cooked according to the recipe, I spooned it into the hot jars and tightened the lids as much as possible. Then, I placed all the filled jars (which came to five 8-oz jars, with the fifth one not quite full) into a large stockpot that had a canning rack in it. I covered the jars with 2 inches of water and boiled that for about 10 minutes. I then took the jars out of the water and placed them on some dishtowels to cool. The tops should be depressed (so you can't push the button in and out)- that's how you know they've sealed. This might take a while, so don't worry if they're not sealed right away.

And that's it! Sadly (how did I not think of this) I have no bread or crackers or ANYTHING to eat this jam with right now. I'll have to remedy this right away. Yummy! It feels so good to have taken part in this from start to finish. Well, I didn't plant the raspberries, but from watering them, and picking them in the backyard and then making this jam, I really feel like I MADE THIS, in every sense of that phrase. What a great feeling. And I still have some more raspberries from the backyard so I'm in search of a different recipe to try- any suggestions from out there in blogland? {Sorry about the bad photos- steamy things on the stove are pretty hard to photograph}

PS: The coasters that are leftover from the farmer's market are up in the shop now, check them out!

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