Thursday, July 8, 2010

I made jam!

A couple of years ago Tom and I planted a tiny little peach tree in our front yard. I assumed it would take years to produce but this year, it's second year, we had peaches out the wa-zoo! It was so exciting!!! Maybe that makes me weird, but I was ridiculously excited about my home grown, literally grown at my home, peaches! And look at how gorgeous they were. First thing I did was just eat them straight off the tree. Next I made a peach pie for father's day - it was pretty fantastic if I do say so myself. It had an oatmeal, brown sugar, and almond crumble on top - yummy! Then we used them in a few fresh fruit smoothies. Then all of the sudden all of the peaches were ready at once. What can you do but make jam?
I've never made jam or any kind of preservative but my Nana made plum jelly every year and I just remember that it seemed very, umm, involved. But I love anything home made so I was pretty excited to make my own jam.
I found this recipe in my favorite cookbook (Better Homes and Gardens - I know, you'd think it would be Martha or something, but no, I really love this cook book. It has simple, real, home made food). Tom and I got all of the supplies out, did the prep work, boiling the jars and lids, pealing the peaches, etc. Let me tell you, making jam is no joke.

Tom started mushing everything up and I added some vanilla - the recipe didn't call for it, but I think just about everything is better if you add vanilla. I also cut about half the sugar - 5 cups just seemed like a real-lot.
The recipe said something about using a "canner" but what the hell, I don't have a canner - so we just boiled the jars in the dutch oven...surely that is what most people do, or do people have "canner" stashed in the way back of the cabinet for jam making?

We ended up with about a dozen jars of jam. It was a lot of work but a lot of fun too. Tom and I were pretty proud of our 12 little jars and decided we need to plant more fruit trees.