A few weeks ago my friend asked if I wanted to come over and make jam. I couldn’t say yes fast enough, and I was happy I did. It was so much fun and when we were done, we had 4 flavors and over 2 dozen jars of jam. We split the bounty in half, giving each of us 12 jars of jam. In my mind each jar was already counted for because I had so many people to thank for all of their kindness and love.
One of the wonderful things when we were canning and jamming is the reminder of how much I love to homestead. The idea of canning something — so it will last through a long blizzard when we have nothing else to eat, we will have the canned food in the basement — makes me feel accomplished, resourceful, sustainable and like I am providing for my family. That night I purchased a canning pan and have been daydreaming of my future garden in which I will harvest abundant food, berries and vegetables from and host canning parties. We will wear cute aprons, drink whiskey on the rocks and play poker while waiting for each batch to cook and can.
We followed 4 different recipes but ultimately cut out most of the pectin (if it called for it) from most of them because we desired a more preserve style (runny) spread, rather than a jam.
Here are the 4 recipes we used:
Mint Rhubarb Preserve - this jam was my second favorite. It would be perfect on top of a bagel with cream cheese or even mixed into a cocktail (mint julep perhaps?).
Blueberry Preserve - this was my favorite because there was no sugar, instead honey was used to sweeten it. And I simply love dark berries.
Strawberry Rhubarb Preserve - this jam was a tad too sweet but delicious and offered nice surprise with the lemon skins cooked right into the jam. Next time I would cut out the sugar and substitute in honey.
Ginger Rhubarb Preserve - this jam was a nice contrast to the other two berry jams, it had a nice tart bite yet still that sweetness you want in a jam.
How about you, are you canning or jamming anything?