Growing up I was lucky that my mom spent part of July and August, canning. The first thing she put up was Chili Sauce. We used to be able to clear our sinuses when the sauce was cooking on the stove top and loved having that fresh sauce in the middle of winter.
Then she tried Bread and Butter Pickles, Tomatoes, Peaches, Plums and Grape Jelly! Our favorites. We'd work hard slicing, dicing and helping sterilize the jars and our reward was listening the musical ping of the jars as they sealed while we ate dinner. It was hard work, and hot. I remember my mom sighing more than once when my dad suggested they go for a ride to New York State to pick up a basket or two of fruit...he loved mom's Grape Jelly!
When I was first married, I canned Bread and Butter Pickles and gave them as Christmas gifts that year. Then when we moved into our house, one of the plant gifts my parents gave us was currant bushes. The next year, we harvested enough currant berries to make a few jars of jelly. If you've never had fresh Currant Jelly you have missed out. They are notoriously tart, even after you add the sugar, but the flavor cannot be surpassed on a fresh croissant hot out of the oven with a cup of hot tea!
When our kids were little, they loved picking currants or raspberries, hoping for jelly. But alas, life got busy and the birds reaped the rewards from our berry patches. This year, I had a yen to make jelly and although my first attempt was tasty, the strawberries overpowered the other fruit in the jam. Not going to make that one again...but it looked pretty...here's the picture of the refrigerator Mixed Fruit Jam
A week ago, I had beautiful nectarines and purple plums that were dead ripe. I hate to waste food, so I cooked them up and then decided rather than just eat them as a sauce, I'd make jelly! This time, I went out, sterilizing jars and listening to the satisfying sound of jelly lids pinging as they cooled and sealed. Here's the Nectarine Plum Jam
We already finished up the partial jar and gave a jar to Jessi to take home...that leaves three lonely little half pint jars in the basement...I wonder how long they'll last?
OK...so then I saw some gorgeous rhubarb at the farm stand the other day...Yep! the bug is still with me, so I cooked up the rhubarb and made Rhubarb Jam...talk about yummy! I could eat it off a spoon...but I was raised to share, so I only had a few spoonfuls! LOL. There was enough for two half pint jars and a container that I put in the freezer. Here's the Rhubarb Refrigerator Jam
Soooo, did I tell you about the gorgeous Concord Grapes that tempted me yesterday? I'm thinking I'll head up to Penning's Farm or Och's Orchard in Warwick, NY. All I need to pick up is more jars and sugar!
Enjoy the rest of your summer! I'm thinking of posting the recipe for the Nectarine/Plum Jam or the Rhubarb Jam on my website in the next week or so. Sooo...be sure to check back!