What a day. Already.

It’s just about 10:30 am as I sit down to type this. Though I have taken to scheduling posts, this isn’t one of them. Nope. This is a real time post all about what’s going down in my house.

We have company arriving tomorrow evening. We can’t wait to see our good friends. We can’t wait to feed them with all the goodies we got from our CSA. Eggplant. Kale. Lettuce. Tomatoes. Peppers, both sweet and hot.

Oh, did I say tomatoes? I did? Yup. I might have a few tomatoes. A few. I mean, 25 lbs counts as a few, right?

Actually, I purchased 25 lbs extra from the farm so I could can them and turn them into pasta sauce. So, I had a hot and messy day planned for today.… Continue reading →

[115 – 118] Let’s talk jam again, shall we?

Wow. It took long enough to find out the last challenge recipe I posted that I am embarrassed. I’ve been cooking (though not as much as this time last year), and not putting the challenges up.

Well, it may change HOW I do it, but that’s changing right now. It’s changing with the last few recipes I’ve made. I will, at the least, document them.

With that out of the way, let’s get to jam.

Today I am making black currant jam. I may also make some sort of blueberry jam. I didn’t buy a lime, so I can’t make blueberry-lime again, I don’t think. I don’t know how much jarred juice (shoosh) to add to make up the amount of juice in one lime, and there’s no replacement for zest.… Continue reading →

Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving

Cover of Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving edited by Judi Kingry and Lauren Devine

I don’t recall exactly when I bought this book, but I know that it was earlier this year.

I have been interested in canning for a long time, particularly since my friend Corrine taught me how to make jam in her kitchen. This was back in 2007, and we made some delicious jams (Fuzzy Navel jam was my favorite and our “Harvest Jam” apparently rocked a lot of other folks’ socks). We also made some killer apple butter from a recipe we got from my Grandma L.

Between that and my long-time (though waxing and waning, at times) interest in eating more locally, it was only natural that learning to preserve foods would pique my interest and canning all sorts of things would be a part of my life.… Continue reading →

[32] Berry Jam

Cover of Ball's Complete Book of Home Canning and Preserving

I’ll be honest, there’s not a ton to say here. This is the second of the three jam recipes Bill and I made the other day (before our trip to New Mexico). The third recipe will be posted too, but (sadly) it doesn’t count against our total. It didn’t come from a cookbook.

Anyway, my goal here was to make raspberry jam for Bill (not “raspberry ham”, as I originally typed). I am really not a big fan of raspberries, generally, but he is. Since we’re getting to a stage in our life where it’s unlikely we’ll ever buy jam again, I wanted to make sure he didn’t miss out on his favorite jam. Corrine had already helped with this some, by leaving a couple of jars of raspberry jam for him on her way home from the Great Frozen North, but those two jars will go quickly.… Continue reading →

[31] Blueberry Lime Jam

Cover of Ball's Complete Book of Home Canning and Preserving

Slowly, but surely, I’m working through the queue of recipes I built up before my sister’s wedding (and the one or two I made there, and the one or two I’ve made since I’ve been home).

Really, the cooking part of this exercise is going a lot better than the posting. The posting is vital, though, as it’s a big motivator to keep up with the challenge. And, honestly, we’ve been behind on the posting for long enough that I do get the feeling that if we just put the oomph into catching up, the posting will be a lot more fun and stay basically caught up. The real challenge is on the days when we manage to make multiple recipes at once.

The day we made this jam was one of those days.… Continue reading →