Friday, July 27, 2007

Attempted Jam

Since I missed the farmers market this weekend, I stopped at a local farm stand on my way home Tuesday evening. They were pretty well stocked - I walked out with a cantaloupe, cucumbers (to supplement the slow-to-show garden ones), red and white onions, green peppers, peaches and a jar of strawberry jelly. Unfortunately I didn't look too closely at the jelly before purchasing it; at second glance it doesn't really appear to be 'local'. Sure, it was made for the farmer, but the ingredients list shows HFCS, which I doubt he produced himself. Oh, well. Still good!

Since I had all of these peaches, looking a little bruised and sad from the car ride home, I thought I'd try my hand at making jam. I found a simple recipe online, bought some small jars and other supplies, and set to work. This jam is simply a combination of sugar and fruit - no pectin or other additions. It should have been good, but alas the recipe did not detail how long to cook the mixture (just until "thickened" - how long is that?!?), so I just guessed...and I guessed wrong! So now I have 6 1/2 pint jars of peach syrup. Better make some ice cream to go with it... :) Now, on a better note, I also had the strawberries ML and I had picked in my freezer, so I thawed those and made some strawberry jam (2 half-pints). The recipe for the strawberry jam did detail how long to cook, so this variation turned out excellent, if not a little thick. As I type, I'm contemplating a 3rd slice of local bread smeared with my yummy homemade jam.

I might try the peach jam again, now that I'm a little more experienced. I'm visiting my folks this weekend, so I'll pick up my mom's canning supplies - I definitely needed a larger pot for processing - I ended up using my only large one for the water bath, leaving me to use several smaller saucepans for all the jelly - the DH was not impressed with the stack of dishes I left in the sink!