September 19, 2010

Peach Jam

I learned to make jam when I was about 13, in my local 4-H club.  I was a "townie" 4-Her, the "country kids" 4H groups back then were more for those who lived on farms, had horses to ride, or livestock to raise- mostly boys.  My club was all girls, and the focus was strictly on home economics. 

I loved my leader- I swear there was nothing Mrs. Kohns didn't know how to do!  She lived in the country, outside the little town in northwest Iowa where I grew up.  AND she had a player piano with tons of music rolls- very entertaining!  I loved the meetings that were held at her farmstead.  I learned how to crochet, knit, sew, and cook.  One of my favorite things was making jam.  One year my best friend Laura and I even made mulberry jam, because mulberries were plentiful and free.  It was awful! 

Peach jam is great, though, and very easy to make.  Earlier this month I bought a lug of Colorado peaches, and froze 5 quarts of peach slices for later.  We'll enjoy them on blustery, cold, snowy winter days, when it seems like spring will never arrive (if we can wait that long!). 

Bringing the jam to a rolling boil

The peaches were so good that I bought a second lug, and made my first batch of jam last night.  Jeffrey was baking cookies at the same time, so my prep area was restricted to a little counter top that is only 24 inches wide- and I still had enough room to peel and dice the peaches.  I also had the clean jars soaking in hot water in the kitchen sink, taking them out and drying them as I needed them.  I used the same counter space to ladle the cooked jam into the jars for processing.

The finished product!

We have a glasstop stove, and so I couldn't use my old blue spatterware enamel waterbath canner- it's so big it can't fit on the alloted burner space (I'm told trying to do so could burn out the burner element).  I made do with a stock pot that allowed 1-2 inches of water to fit over the jarred jam, using a new plastic basket contraption that made lowering and raising the jars into the boiling water possible.  All my jars sealed, so my efforts were successful!

I've got my eye on a recipe for Apple Pie Jam next, to use some of the Paula Red apples we got in Fort Dodge.  Do you have a favorite jam recipe?  Please comment below, and share!

No comments:

Post a Comment