Two out of three ain’t bad…
Tonight I have made the foray into making my own preserves. Exciting!
I bought a book called The Complete Book of Home Preserving. I’ve become fascinated with some of the “gentle arts” over the past couple of years, and preserving always seemed like one of those magical things that ladies did to make sure they had pie filling on hand without having to go shopping. Fascinating! I was also driven by the lack of pineapple jam in the supermarkets these days (I love K for sending some to me, but jeez – we grow fricken pineapples in fricken Queensland, for frick’s sake!!).
So I’ve been reading the book, and there really are some delicious sounding recipes in there – along with some very practical, well-written advice and instructions on how to actually sterilize, prepare and seal the jars so you don’t get nasties growing in them. There are some plain-jane recipes like strawberry jam, etc… but there are some really interesting jams and pickles that I’ve never seen in a shop – one such is the Carrot Cake Jam, which I have attempted to make this very night!
Carrots, pears, pineapple, lemon juice, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, and a metric butt-ton of sugar.
Bubble, bubble, toil and trouble…
Cook it up, process the jars, and voila – jam! This stuff has made my house smell absolutely amazing.
I’m desperate to try this on toast with cream cheese
Now, this whole process did not go off without a hitch. I need a proper set of canning tongs (which I have ordered). Trying to manoeuvre glass jars in and out of boiling water, both empty and full, was quite a challenge using random bits of long-handled kitchenware I had lying around. I could also use a sacrificial pot to do the processing in, instead of my extraordinarily expensive non-stick stock pot. One of the jars also came unsealed in the processing phase, so I did lose one jar of jam, but I reckon on the first attempt that two out of three ain’t bad ;)
As I pulled them out of the pot at the end of the processing phase, I got a very satisfying POP! indicating that the jars had hermetically sealed! I hope this stuff sets properly, because it smells divine and I can’t wait to eat it.
Next up – some kind of pickle! I have to use up the jam first, because I only have 3 jars ;)