Wednesday, September 06, 2006


Back from Logan, Ohio, where I discussed canning with my son-in-law. He and my daughter have done green beans (in a pressure cooker) and tomatoes so far, their first time. D and I have done peaches, pears, chutney, and peach jam. The combination is starting to approach a balanced meal, along with the venison we have in the freezer. Back to the land! Oh, wait--too late for that. Not to mention that I don't want to chop my own wood and make lye soap or whatever they were doing on those communes in the '60s while I was living a more ordinary life.

I haven't quite got the hang of jam-making yet. I'm never sure how long to cook it and my sources are somewhat contradictory. Plus, I can't resist adding things to it (balsamic vinegar? why not!). The peach jam I made yesterday came out tasting very good, but a little too solid--too much pectin? or just overcooked? I'm not sure. I won't give a recipe, because I kept adding things in a manic way, but it tastes pretty good. I'm calling it Balsamic Peach Jam--a little balsamic vinegar, some cardamom seeds to spice it up a little.

Here's the jam on some vanilla ice cream: very bad picture; very good jam.


bloglily said...

The photo's very evocative. I love creamy vanilla ice cream and fruit of any kind. I so enjoy making jam -- but over the years I've settled on just raspberry and apricot and sometimes plum. There's certainly a place for balsamic vinegar in jam-making -- it's great with strawberry too. And if you don't want to use pectin (it does make the jam gloppier and a little cloudy), you can always just add some lemon juice, and cook the jam for a bit longer, at a low boil, not a furious one! I stopped using pectin a while ago and like the results far better.

Vegetables seem harder, maybe because of the pressure cooker, but they do look very nice.

lucette said...

I'm a little nervous of vegetables myself, except for tomatoes. And the pressure cooker is scary.
Thanks for the jam tips. I'm going to try again with raspberries, I think.

veuveclicquot said...

wow. I really admire your dedication to canning and preserving. I've never had the courage to attempt it. :) Apricot is one of my faves.

Liz said...

It looks delicious on ice cream.

I like to use Pomona's Pectin when jammin'... it's not as strong a pectin, and I can get away with using *much* less sugar, or even honey.

We're not good hippies, because while we chop our own wood, I'd much rather buy soap. And I only can acid foods! :)

lucette said...

Yes, I was kind of shocked at how much sugar was supposed to go in.

Maureen McHugh said...

I love jars of canned goods. I love the color. I loe the sense of security (look at all this food we've got!) I love the glisten.

My mom canned a little when I was growing up, but she was in love with the freezer. She put up sweet corn, tomatoes and beans.

lucette said...

My grandmother used to can, but my mother rejected all the stuff that had to do with rural life--she just wasn't interested.