Thursday, September 09, 2010

The Jam Lineup

They're so pretty, I needed to photograph them in the sunshine.

Top row: Australian spiced fig jam (for fig cookies!), freezer minted raspberry peach jam, and peach raspberry jam.
Bottom row: the first peach jam of the season (made in the crockpot and not very firm, but delicious!), the second peach jam (with Ball pectin and a boatload of sugar), mango raspberry jam, spiced peach jam, cherry, peach jam (with Pomona pectin and a LOT less sugar!), peach cranberry conserve (with Amaretto!), and mango jam.

This is what I've been working on for the past couple of weeks. Part of the insanity is that I'm planning on giving a jar away to each couple that attend the twins' 3rd birthday party, instead of grab bags of junk. I'll also make some peppermint bark for the kids that are coming (Because just how many little kids would appreciate jam for a gift bag?) to the party and I also have to make enough to send some home with my mom for my sisters.

That meant a lot of jamming sessions.

The fig jam is really an experiment (they all are, really) to see if I can make a yummy fig cookie of my own and the freezer jam seemed like a good idea at the time but is too sweet for me. The mango jam is my secret stash and I'm only likely to share it with one person: my mom. Unless I make another batch, that is!

The cool thing is that I ran across a different kind of pectin at the natural food store and found that I can use a lot less sugar using it than the regular Ball kind of pectin. This thrilled me to no end because the concept of 5 1/2 or 7 cups of sugar to 4 or 5 cups of fruit makes my teeth ache. On the bright side, I learn new things with every batch I make (Like the fact that I need a longer spoon to avoid getting splashed with molten hot jam!) and I have yummy presents for the folks I love.

I only stopped when I ran out of glass jars. The people I love are not so good with returning the of the glass jars. (This is a hint, y'all!) I'm sure with a little prodding, they'll remember! Also, the threat of no more jam might just do it! (HINT!)

Anyone have a favorite recipe I should try? I'm dying for some rhubarb, but it's currently out of season and I don't have any rhubarb plants of my own! Next year, however...!


Cousin Janet from NY said...

Tracy, I must say, once again, that you are unbelievable!!! With Caitlin & the twins, you still outdo anyone, no - everyone, I know with making home made jam, & not just ONE kind, but dozens!!!! Take a bow, & be assured I wish to hell I could be at the twins' party anyway, but now, to miss a peach/mango jam goodie bag!!!!!

Woman with a Hatchet said...

Thanks Janet! I'm sorry you can't be here, too!

Candy "Sweetstuff" said...

Again will read tomorrow cause need to go to bed! Jars look awesome though. Great work!

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