Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Monday Night Jammin...

I have a new obsession that I can't get enough of. Lately, I have been canning and jamming like a crazy homesteader and I LOVE it. The other day I got a butt load of plums. You see my Grandpa is a master gardener and he grows it all. The other weekend we were down at his house near Salem, Oregon and there in his garden were these two beautiful plum trees. I mean beautiful, all purple and full of sweet juicy plums. So I picked myself a big old bag. Ok this is where I go overboard. You see on the way home to Astoria I stopped at my Momma and Markies house and there in their backyard is a Plum tree just busting at the branches with white golden plums. Mark told me he hates seeing plums go to waste so he has been eating at least 10 a day. I can't imagine. Anywhoo... he picked me yet another bag and I set about my way home. So here I am all plum happy sitting in Astoria busting with plums or whats about to become a pile of rotten fruit. Thank the heavens for my friend Melissa who decided we would can them for the kids and jam them for everyone else. I didn't document this crazy day yet I did managed to take a few picture of our final product. We canned plums and made spicy plum jam with jalapenos and habaneros to throw over cream cheese, chicken or pork.
Well that was on Saturday then Monday rolled around and my friend Chelsea reminded me that we had too many blackberries taking up space in our freezer. Whenever I go walking I always bring my bucket because blackberries are in abundance in and around town. Not to mention my little Lou can't get enough of them! (Caught hand in the bucket.. Berry snatching.)
So I am not going to give you a step by step because I used the directions on a box of Sure-Jell. I will tell you that I did one batch of regular blackberry jam and one batch with hot peppers. Best idea ever... You can throw it over cream cheese with crackers or pork.
Frozen berries....
Here my lovely  friend Chelsea is mashing up the berries and measuring them into my Twilight tub. (Isn't she the cutest pregnant lady ever!?)

 These are the peppers we used to spice it up. Jalapenos and habaneros. We took the seeds out and made sure to wash our hand really well cause these suckers are hot! Make sure too that you subtract the amount of berries for the amount of chopped peppers that go into the whole measurement. Otherwise your jam may not jell. (p.s. look at that pie. I am so freakin proud of it. Its no mistake that it's in the photo. I threw it together sans recipe and all the pie gods came together and gave me that. It also tasted amazing, even Cole who doesn't like desserts said he would eat it again!)

Stirring the pot... Make sure you have an apron on cause its hot and bubbly!
 Once the substance was in the jars and sealed tight we flipped them. But then we didn't have enough faith that they would seal which in the canning world is a big deal because you don't want to give people your goods then kill them with botulism.
 So we put them in a water bath just to be sure.
 This is a bad photo of me but it is important so I put it in. The best part of canning is waiting for the suckers to seal. However, you cannot touch the lids or else you ruin the whole process and your stuff goes bad. So you have to be patient and wait, and wait and wait. I went to bed that night hearing the popping of the lids sealing. There is no sound so sweet after canning all evening!
 Our finished product! Looks and tastes amazing....

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