Saturday, July 26, 2008

Jams, jams, and more jams

My goal for this summer was actually to do some canning. What with food prices, fuel prices, etc. I'm even more motivated to go ahead & get some canning done. Yesterday, I decided it was now or never, so I went to the City Market & picked up a flat of raspberries. Now part of the flat was in the refrigerator, but the rest had been sitting out all day. Still, for a cost of $45, I had an entire flat all to myself & wound up making raspberry jam that very night, and for the first time all by myself.

I'd helped Mom, of course, many a time. I forget when she stopped canning, but it was likely when she went back to working full time & probably about the time my grand father started living between his two daughters' houses. Life just got too busy at that point. Her tomato sauces were lovely & I was always being told to run downstairs & get a jar of tomatoes for dinner that night. When I said there wasn't any, she'd always send me back down again.

Oddly enough, I remember only a time or two when there really wasn't any. Those filled jars hid really well.

Anyway, my goals were simple, to make Christmas jam. I missed the strawberry season for a number of reasons, but was thrilled to find out that I could still buy raspberry flats. Thrilled enough that I went back & brought another flat! Plus ten pounds of blueberries. The dining room table is looking really pretty; raspberry jam, raspberry/cranberry jam, and raspberry/cherry jam. Tomorrow, I need to either freeze the remaining raspberries or make more jam. Or maybe make muffins....

Made blueberry muffins from the King Arthur Baking cookbook. Used Ricotta cheese, because that's what I had, instead of sour cream. The dough was really stiff, so I think maybe the more watery sour cream would've been a better choice. I'll try again tomorrow & will take the results to work.

Another really fun thing I did was, I picked up rosemary & basil plants at the Hickory Corners Greenhouse, which is also at the City Market. Lambs Ear, Phlox, and a couple other things too... and they have some really lovely birdbaths, which, believe it or not, I think I'm going to 'save' to buy when I reach a goal. I'm hoping to reach that goal before the end of the summer.

More reports on my baking & canning will come up later! I really want to make a lot of tomato sauce & can some whole tomatoes because I use a lot of tomatoes in cooking. I think making my own will be fun.

Should add here that I also ate my very FIRST four cherry tomatoes of the season, straight from my very own backyard plants. This is way more fun than TV... and harkening back to Diane Duane's So You Want to be a Wizard, I am also picturing my plants saying, "grow grow grow" in little plant voices....

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