Monday, July 28, 2008

Just Everyday Stuff

Ken and I had a very fun time making jam together last night. We have a ton of nectarines from our tree and decided nectarine jam would make a lovely Christmas gift come winter, but first we would need to learn how to make jam properly. I researched it on this site, and once the little boys were both asleep we set in. It was very fun. Mostly we followed the directions on the pectin insert, but also used info I'd gleaned from online. The biggest thing I learned in my research is that spooning the hot jam into hot jars and just sealing them (and possibly turning them upside down) is not considered safe. What is recommended is the boiling water immersion method, where you submerse the sealed jars in boiling hot water for 5 minutes. We did fit our jars into my Nigella Mulitpot, but it quickly became evident that we would need a canner--the mulipot covered the jars, but not by the full inch recommended.
I love the color of the nectarines made into jam. We added extra pectin for a firm set.
There was not enough for a full third jar (we were using the two cup jars) so this jar became our tester. It's excellent! And I'm in love with the firm set. No more freezer jam here, ever!
Here's the color of the jam in daylight. Hopefully we'll design our own labels for these for gift giving. You can see in the background that we now have smaller jars.
And we went out today and bought this gigantic canner! Now we are committed. We have several more types of fruit in the yard that will come due in the next few weeks, so we'll have plenty for canning.
Okay, other scenes from my day. Clean laundry, just taken down from the line. I like this very much.
Blueberry muffins from an old but good cookbook. (My copy is literally in pieces now). I like these because they're light in sugar and higher in fiber than most blueberry muffins.

Bread to go with dinner. Guess what--we'll be canning again tonight! I told Ken that jam making can now be our new nightly recreation now that we've watched all the LOST episodes there are to see.

14 comments:

Erna said...

wow that looks like great fun! with even better results!

Jessica said...

You certainly are converted!!! I can't wait to see what other jam you make- if only I had a nectarine tree in my back yard. And those muffins look delicious, too! Happy canning!

Amy said...

maybe what I need is fruit on hand in my backyard in order to become a jam maker??? Naaaaaaa! I just don't see it happening for me! But I think it is just great that you guys are doing this together!!!

Suzanne said...

Fruit in the backyard! I can only dream of it here in New England. Thanks goodness for blueberries and strawberries:-) Love the color of the jam .

ames said...

What a fantastic color! I'm so happy your experiment went well.

I'm very tempted to buy a canner, I found that my jars fit into my big stockpot with the noodle insert, which was great for the underneath clearance but just *barely* enough for above the jars and I had to mop up a lot of boiled-over water. My next canning adventure will be crabapple jelly :)

Its_Lily said...

One of my favorite summer rituals - making jam. The jars of fresh jam always look so beautiful on the counter. And the taste? Oh, absolute heaven! My favorite jam is peach, but I prefer eating nectarines to peaches(don't care for the fuzz). You've made me want to try some nectarine jam now.

Laura said...

Love all of the 'day in the life' photos!
I soooo wish we had fruit trees and lots of veggies growing in our yard...but I will have to be content with herbs at this point :)

The jam looks wonderful!

littlegreen said...

the canning looks like it went over well, we did apricots the other night... yum, can't wait til winter! And seriously, did you watch this last season of lost? Jordo and I watched all the others finally, and now have to resort to the online episodes from the last season... but we will prevail!! take care!

Gift of Green said...

Wow, I've been off blogging for several days and am just catching up. Inspiring as usual! Thanks for sharing MB! P.S. I will try to answer the question you left me soon...

taimarie said...

My husband and I made plum jam together yesterday- but we neglected to wait until the muchkin was in bed- your canning experience looked much more stress-free!No more mid-day canning here!

MamaBlogger said...

oh your whole entire post looks delicious. even the laundry, hee!

Marcy - The Glamorous Life! said...

The absolute best part of this? That you guys did it TOGETHER. I am so jealous. Okay maybe a jar of the Necterine goodness would ease my pain...

Rach said...

Oops, I don't think that food health/safety advice has reached Australia - our jam making recipes still suggest the hot jar/hot jam method. Perhaps I will try the new method given I don't really want to be made ill or dead by my jam... Not the result one is after! Love muffins - great to make with Minnie as its really just mixing stuff roughly together.

Miss L's Craft Room said...

The first jam I ever made was peach jam. It didn't quite set right but it was ssooooo delicious. We spooned it over vanilla ice cream. Yum. Makes me feel like yanking out my canning equipment!
Elaine