Sunday, October 3, 2010

Jumping off the Canning Bridge: Making Jam

Canning has always been sort of scary to me. I worry about serving my friends botulism laden jam or seeing my kitchen covered in glass fragments as the canning jars exploded. However, I decided to take the plunge for a few reasons. First, I found myself spending way too much money on other people's jams. Also, my older child is in a "jam and cream cheese" on bread phase (thank you, Francis!) and eats it each morning. Finally, after our trip to Tougas Farms, I knew I couldn't eat all our lovely fruit before it turned rotten. I also felt soothed by a video from How To Heroes. I had previously tried Bonnie's Jams and knew they were delicious. I was soothed by Bonnie's comment that you can't get botulism from canned fruit. I also appreciated that her recipe kept sugar low (my children need nary a sugar high!) and doesn't use pectin, which can give an unpleasant taste. And the video made it all seem so easy.

My sons helped me to make the blueberry jam. (In other words, they mixed the blueberries and sugar on the table and I did the rest. Jam gets hot!) I then kept going, making a batch of raspberry and another of peach. I used Bonnie's formula of half as much sugar as fruit, adding a bit of lemon at the end to jump start the pectin in the fruit itself. And now? We can have fruit jam all winter. Or at least til we eat it all!

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