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Friday, December 3, 2010

Makin' Jam

Well, after growing fruit for more than 20 years now I am finally learning how to make and can fruit, jam and preserves! Good grief- I feel so silly that I haven't done it before but made a lot of excuses. Was always worried I would give the whole family botulism mainly! So this year when I harvested the fruit I cut it all up and froze it (killing a few germs in the process!).

I usually give away tons of our lovely fruit to family, neighbors and friends but in the poor economy I horded my gorgeous, juicy apricots and peaches. Peeled a lot of pretty hard bosc pears- they actually softened up a bit after de-thawing. A client gave me some huge granny smith apples and those also froze very well. Last of all I usually get a crate of organic strawberries out by Pescadero and so............you guessed it, those got cut up, bagged and thrown in the freezer.

This was all a bit of work but was spread out over the summer and fall so was not too bad a chore. The great part is that I can take my time and make the jam over many months also.

With my daughter, Christines, help I learned to boil the jars and after a few trys made some nice, thick jam. She and I made yummy strawberry-pineapple gauva (another gift from a client) jam. I am aghast at how much sugar goes into jam- yikes. I am using low sugar recipes but am going to decrease the sugar a bit more to allot for the sugars of the tree ripened fruit.

Last night I made apple-pear butter. Woweee- it is so much better than any apple butter I ever tried before and actually has texture!
I am loving trying different combinations of fruit. Today I am going to do some pomegranate-apricot jam using juice from our pomegranates (they juice well using an electric juicer with filter).
Well, you can guess what we are giving for Christmas this year! This is one way to avoid the malls and give something that is useful and delicious!

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