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.