Friday, September 23, 2011

Deep down in your plums

posted by Melissa Baumgart
From the wealth of Amy's plum harvest, I also made some plum jam.  It happened yesterday afternoon.  I have been saying I was going to make jam since the first day of this month, and it finally happened.  No, it wasn't with those beautiful blackberries we picked, the rest of those still sit in a plastic container in my refrigerator.  Wasted.  That's how it usually goes around here.  Best intentions become smelly and rotten and shoved to the back of the fridge.

Notice their deep hue.
After Amy made it look so easy to can; taking care of the sauce after I feel asleep, and then it seemed like every time I saw her lately she had just canned this or that.  So, there I was with 8 pounds of plums, and I got to canning.  Speaking of plums, have you seen the Will Farrell but about the plums?  Make sure you're kids aren't around and check out that link.

 So, the plums, first I cut up all the plums and simmered them on medium heat until they became mushy and a lot of their juices had oozed out. (Still laughing from the Will Farrell thing.)  They went from a yellow fleshed fruit to a soup of bright red.  Next I used my blender to purée the plums and their juice to a cohesive mixture, and then strained it through a colander to remove some of the peel.

Jars of jam waiting to "set."
From there, I followed the instructions that came in my box of Pomona's pectin.  I think it would be boring to go over the whole process, so I suggest you follow your own instructions in the box of Pomona's pectin that you purchase.  It is pretty simple: add calcium water, then sugar and pectin, bring it to a boil (one that can't be stirred down, learned that at the canning class!) and then you have jam.

Homemade jam on homemade toast.
You should have your canning water bath ready and boiling, your jars hot and your canning funnel and jar grabber tool on hand.  You fill the jars, wipe the rim clean, put on the lids and once your basket (you can get one of these, pretty essential tools at a hardware store that sells canning supplies) is full, you gently place it in the boiling water.  My instructions said to boil for 10 minutes.

And now, I have jam!  It's just a shame that we ran out of peanut butter yesterday.  I was all excited about being "that parent", you know, the one that sends their kids to school with homemade bread and homemade jam sandwiches.  This month has proven to me, beyond a doubt, that I will never be that parent.  And probably cure me of any desire to be one in the future.


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