Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Stomach better, thought I'd make some jam

When I stopped in at the local Food Basics on Sunday morning, I saw that they were stocking Ontario yellow plums. Being a huge advocate for locally-grown produce, I picked up a 2-lb. container of near-ripe ones as my produce selection for the week. My plans to actually get to eat any of them, howeever, were sidetracked when I was fighting back whatever stomach affliction I had, so the three small plums I brought in to work on Monday were still sitting in my desk when I felt my appetite returning today. I ended up eating those with my lunch and can gladly say I was not disappointed. Realizing immediately that I had most of a 2-lb. container of amazingly sweet plums quickly ripening on my kitchen counter, I looked up recipes for plum jam.

The daunting part was that I had never "canned" anything before in my life, and I was simply going to have too much jam to use up (and probably even give away) to not can what I made. Following a quick run out to Canadian Tire for small jam jars, I leaped blindly into the canning experience!

I didn't realize that I would have to handle the jars with non-metal utensils, so I ended up pincering the sterilized jars between two silicone spatulas, which was awkward, but do-able. I also used a 1/2"-high, oval cheese-grater lid as a makeshift canning rack (who knew that you weren't supposed to rest the jars directly inside the pot?). Mental note: if I'm going to do this again, buy a small canning rack and a jar picker-upper (there she goes, making up words again). A funnel might be handy too. :)

I'll know by 9pm tomorrow (stoopid 24-hour resting period) whether or not I was successful in my first canning venture, but I'll take the "popping" noises during processing as a good sign.



At Thu Jul 27, 05:10:00 pm GMT-4, Anonymous fa_homewood said...

Well, good to know that you're back in commission and doing what you do best in your own factory. And you're even doing your first 'canning', I am lost for there anything that you cannot do?

Just got home from work really and since it is sweltering out there, I am not going to slave in my own factory and cook me a meal. I will instead go out and treat myself to a nice dinner around the hood. I think I'll go to Il Fornello and have frutti di mare since I worked like a donkey today.

Another wonderful thing when I picked up my mail just now was these two postcards from Caty which she remembered to send me...isn't that nice of her to make the effort and indulge me? Sweet girl, she is.

Two more days and she is back. Are you getting excited now? Bet you girls will have lots of catching up to do. The great thing is you finally rid yourself of this stomach problem and you are well and good...Way you go, girl!!!

At Fri Jul 28, 01:12:00 pm GMT-4, Blogger Emma said...

I bought a starter kit with the wide mouth funnel and the "picker-upper" thing. I just haven't screwed up the currage to actually do it. Plus there's the getting enough fruit at a reasonable price to make it worthwhile. Maybe when I make my trip down to Nigagra I'll kid-nap you and bring you home with me to help guide (blide leading the blinde) me through it.

At Fri Jul 28, 03:06:00 pm GMT-4, Blogger ghanima said...

Em, are you underslept again, or were you just typing too fast?

At Fri Jul 28, 06:20:00 pm GMT-4, Blogger Emma said...

Heh, fingers move faster than my brain. I was going for blind leading the blind. Maybe a little underslept. It's this weather.


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