Monday, June 21, 2010

Kickin' out the jams!

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!

20 comments:

CHILDHOOD MAGIC said...

Delicious! Your photos are so darn pretty!

Sherri B. said...

You take me on a walk down memory lane once again. For many years I would go to Sauvie Island to get my Hood berries. Even with babies and young ones under foot, I also put up enough for us and for gifts. After that, was the raspberries, I never did Marionberries so am looking forward to you sharing that. I think way back in the 70's the Marionberries were not so available. Thanks for sharing...I have a bit of a lump in my throst for some reason.

Wendy said...

Yummy, yummy! We're hoping to get out to pick our second round of strawberries soon!

harmony and rosie said...

250 posts is a lot of posting, congrats! I thought perhaps you might do all this whilst listening to The Jam, tee hee but more importantly I need to tell you that there is nothing better than an English strawberry. Nuff said!

x

Little Ted Canvas said...

YUM! I love your pretty cut glass jars...

crzylady said...

congrats on BOTH achievements! You do make lovely jam. And to Tenacious D!!!! YEA!

I have so little patience. I used to can (kind of) with my mom. But, yes, so much work. Glad to see all your pretty jars and pics so I can "Take Part" without getting dirty ;p

lifeshighway said...

Lovely jams. I have never tried it before. It might be just the right fun project to try during this horrible heat spell.

Leanne said...

Oh those pretty jars of red look like they contain all the goodness, craziness and laughter of their making...delicious.

Foothills Poultry said...

That jam looks fantastic. I don't eat it often, but I love strawberry jam. It is worth the tinglely upper lip from my very mild allergy.

~~Matt~~

Michelle said...

Oh yum...
I love strawberry jam...
I did try to make it once but I do believe I must have wandered...for it didn't set and was less than delightful...
I love the colour of yours...
Congrats on your 250th post!!!

little grubs said...

What a glorious sight and such pretty jars! I made jam for the first time this summer - plums going free from trees on the pavement. So we had plum, plum and vanilla and plum and cinnamon. I wish I hadn't given away do many for presents becauseI don't think we're going to get through to December. Like you said it's such a proud feeling to see it all bottled and stored! x

ecoMILF said...

yum! so jealous you're in strawberry season right now. happy post-iversay! xo m.

Claire Gale said...

wow what a great blog, really enjoyed the read and i look forward to checking out the music at a time when it's a little less quiet here.....shhh it's midnight and i should be in bed:)

Colette said...

that looks yummy, my Mr makes jams and pickles - nothing beats them, I feel a strawberry one coming soon....

For Love Of My Oceans said...

Those are gorgeous photos! what kind of camera and/or lens are you using? I am very impressed. Making jam looks fun and time consuming we may have to try it. Thankyou for the idea.

jus said...

Iggy is my man when I'm jamming... I like to pogo whilst waiting for that elusive rolling boil!

Sabrina said...

I literally could smell the jam when I pulled up your blog. Your photos are always so enticing!

Tas said...

I remember making jam with my nan when I was a little girl but my mum wasn't a jam maker. It is something I have always aspired to but I get overwhelmed at the whole sterilisation thing. Should just get off my butt and give it a go.

Pia K said...

congrats on your 250th post! i hope you celebrated in some appropriate way?

this jam making delight brings back childhood memories for me, when i was a kid my parents always spent a lot of time making jams and cordials at our country cottage, mostly with currants (which is not a favourite of mine) which they tried to coax me into picking for a measly amount of money. it rarely succeed), but with gooseberries, raspberries, apples too. back then i wasn't appreciative of home-made stuff, store bought was THE thing to have and eat.

now i'm of the quite opposite opinion (of course) and who knows, one day i will perhaps find myself making some jammy delight! it sounds and looks terribly fun, sure does:)

m.e (Cathie) said...

your blog world is amazing!!!
love your pics, I want to live where you live!
happy weekend ♥