Thursday, August 12, 2010

Jam On It!

The canning began at our house yesterday with a large batch of peach jam and several jars of beet relish. It's amazing how easy canning is once you get the hang of it- all you need is a Ball Blue Book, a pack of jars with the lids and bands, and a big pot and you are in business. It is handy to have the jar lifter, lid wand, and canning funnel, but it is totally possible to do without. I love "putting food by" for later- it really makes one feel as though they are in greater control of what they consume, and your own preserved food also serves as a friendly reminder of the summer past. All that being said, these were two new recipes for me, and I am satisfied with how they turned out. The peach jam is a little on the sweet side, but it is tasty and beautiful:

The peaches came from Osage Farm in Dillard, GA. They were beautiful and perfectly ripe. I really enjoyed watching it all come together in the pot. First, I scored the peaches and scalded them to remove the skins more easily. Then, I mashed them with my potato masher and the proper amount of sugar and water. For any food purists out there (I am one), you can't beat peaches, sugar, and water as a list of ingredients for jam. 
The peaches began to stew up, and all of the juice ran out; it began to look like peach soup:

And finally, after several minutes of stirring and boiling, the mix began to foam and thicken up:

Poured into the jars, the jam had a beautiful honey gold hue:

My stepmother, who taught me how to can, said the sound of lids popping as your jars seal is one of the most satisfying sounds there is. After a couple years of canning, I tend to agree with her. It is the sound of independence from the grocery store, preservatives and additives, and it gives a self sufficient feeling. We had pulled the rest of the beets from the garden, so we also made a delicious beet relish. 

This came together so easily... 

and the canner was already hot and ready to go. I really enjoyed the canning, but it is exhausting too, so after we finished, I rolled right into bed for a good night's sleep. I feel like doing that now too, but I think I am going to go outside and check out the meteor shower first! 


Post a Comment

Thanks for stopping at Farmhouse Garden! I love to hear from you...