Jammin’

CherriesLast Summer, I was a stark-raving fool for jamming. I couldn’t get enough of it. I jammed multiple times a week, sometimes spending an entire weekend jamming and pickling and making. I would stop at the farm stand on my way home from work, and, after dinner, would start a batch of strawberry jam. Strawberry & balsamic. Strawberry & thyme. Strawberry & vanilla. Strawberry & ginger. Even strawberry & chocolate.

Then came blueberry season (mmm…blueberry & ginger), peach season, and finally, tomato season, when I discovered the most-bestest-greatest-surprising jam in the whole wide history of jams, Tomato Jam from the insanely productive and inspiring Food in Jars.

Rhubarb

This year, so much is different. We spent the entire month of June in Montana, so the garden is sorely lacking in, well, anything. Before that, we were getting the wee house ready to sell, which was all-consuming. Since getting home from our month away, we’ve been traveling so much that there hasn’t been all that much time for things like jamming. It’s all we can do to just plain keep up with life and fun and friends and summer.

BUT, a few weeks ago, neighbor D brought us a big bucket of cherries. We ate a bunch, froze some, and ate some more, but I quickly realized that, unless I jammed some, we would likely lose the rest to not-enough-time and too-full-bellies. So, I broke out my jammin’ supplies and did a batch. Me being me, I also decided to use the rhubarb Aunt Paula had given me when we visited North Bend, so I actually did TWO batches, one right after the other. Cherry & balsamic & white pepper and rhubarb & vanilla & ginger. The jamming was fantastic. The jams are tasty, too, if a bit stiff – usually, I don’t use any pectin at all, and don’t mind and in fact prefer the softer sets, but I tried Pomona’s Pectin for both of these, and the resultant jams are very firmly set.

Now I just need to get my hands on mucho-mucho tomatoes so I can make enough Tomato Jam to appease my jammin’ (and eatin’) needs. This was one days-worth of making last Summer. Photo stolen unapologetically from the old man. Time to get back to it.

2013-weekend-jamming

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