All Jammed up

The inspiration for my adventure into making jam started when I visited Fort Ross Historical Park and was wondering about the food preparation that happened back in the early 1900’s.

OK, most of my wonderings are usually about food…well, not all food…BAKED foods specifically.

From the map and the hand out I was given at Fort Ross, I knew there was an orchard and garden, so I figured Mrs. Call had to do lots of preserving and canning.  Which reminded me of making jam with my mom when I was young…younger then I am now.  I remember it being fun and the homemade jam was so much better then the store bought stuff.  I’d go through an 8 ounce jar in no time eating a PB&J sandwich, minus the PB!

Like most things that I decide are my “new hobby”; I did some research online, bought multiple books, googled a lot, and made my educated purchase of equipment.

I purchased strawberries from a road side stand and headed home.

I followed the instructions and got to making some jam.

I was going along so well…with my jars in the hot water and my lids ready to go. 

Got the jars filled and I have to say, they were looking good!!

They also tasted pretty good.  I followed the recipe without making any adjustments.

While I knew the next batch would have about 1 cup less sugar and about 1/4 cup fresh strained lemon juice, this initial batch was as good as I could expect.

I placed the filled jars back in the pressure cooker and again, followed directions and after it’s all done and cooled…….

The jam wasn’t perfect…and I was sad. (I’m slowly learning I don’t have to do it right the first time)  The rest is hard to share because it’s about how NOT perfect the jam is.

The strawberry chunks throughout the jam had floated to the top during the “processing” in the pressure cooker.  All the sources assured me that it would taste fine, just to stir it all together after opening the jar for use.  The jam was probably too warm when I put it in the jars and applied the lids.  That was my first assumption, but today I opened one of the jars to check the consistency of the jam and it’s very runny.  With floating fruit and the runny syrup…I failed to cook the fruit, sugar, and pectin long enough for it all to thicken…coupled with me rushing it all into the jars…well, I can only say that I averted calling it a disaster because it still tasted good.

Sorry…I couldn’t bear to take pictures of the separated runny jam.  On the positive side, it’ll be great as an ice cream topper or mixed with Chantilly Cream for cake filling.

You know what that means…I’ll be pulling out my ice cream recipes along with baking a cake next weekend!!

When you end up with syrupy strawberry half jam…turn it into something amazing!

Cheers to a Jam Great Adventure! (I know…cheesy! But it’s all I got)

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