This weekend was a busy one. The most important business on the schedule was The Making of the Jam! It is a yearly event that The Engineer and I look forward to, knowing that we will be provided with luscious tasty jam for the coming year. Now, if you don't happen to make your own jam, I'd like to take a moment to encourage you to do so. It makes great gifts, it tastes like heaven, and it is one of those satisfying accomplishments that make you feel proud. I'd like to say that making jam is easy but, it isn't. No, there's no actual math or science involved (not really), just the time and effort it takes which is considerable, and it is all the more complicated by a tiny kitchen. It takes a certain commitment, focus, and dedication.
And dishes, there are lots and lots of dirty dishes involved.
Over the years the Mr. and I have developed a streamlined production that sails us through the process with relative ease and we also have a pretty good time. The first order of business is to put on some tunes. We require up-beat tempos to keep our energy from flagging and a little dancing about between batches keeps us smiling. This years jam session was brought to us by the seemingly odd choice of Tenacious D Do Not Click on the link if you are easily offended or fear explicit lyrics, they are truly not for everyone. It ended up being perfect music for laughing, dancing, a little "air guitar" and of course "kicking out the jams!"
There is a certain order to things when it comes to jam. Open up those windows deary, it's about to get steamy in here. There have been years that the outside temperature competed with the boiling water bath on the stove, now that is unpleasant. This year we had a cool morning and it helps when you have your face in a bubbling pot of jam, a scalding canning tub and a warm oven.
There are tools of the trade that I find indispensable. The most crucial being the produce. Fresh locally grown berries are a must. We get a Mt. Hood strawberry; small, sweet, juicy and shiny with goodness. Oh my! In the making of jam you must never stray from the path, never falter in your attentions, do not walk away from the jam...EVER!
In the end you will be rewarded with jam the color of jewels and with a taste of fresh fruit that is not too sweet (very little sugar is added to our jams compared to commercially available brands), a jam that with every bite reminds you of summer and the sweetness of life!
We ended up with 34 jars of ruby goodness! How sweet it is! This is only Part 1, a second jam will be canned later in the summer when the Marionberries are ripe.
So there you have it, jam = goodness.
That is all.
PS. Just realized this is my 250th post, hooray!