If you’ve been wondering what I’ve been doing in the interim, wonder no more. I’ve been making jam!
Two of my sisters-in-law live in Connecticut, have had a LOT of power outages in the last couple of years.
With Celiac and my food allergies, I’ve been thinking a lot about emergency preparedness, since it’s not like somebody can walk by and hand me a Nutrigrain bar or something, and if I have meat in the freezer without power for several days, then that food storage is ruined.
I started thinking about how I’d heard that meat could be canned, so I started doing some research and found out that canning meat and vegetables requires a pressure canner. That sounded intimidating, so I decided to start with the good old water bath variety. I figured that once I’d mastered that (and made sure that I liked canning), I could move on with pressure canning.
I LOVE CANNING. I love it SO much. I bought myself a small, flat kitchen scale (easy to clean), and the book Canning For a New Generation. (My mother-in-law gave me another copy that Christmas, which works out *perfectly* since my copy is…ahem…well-used.)
The jams are beautiful and delicious, and mostly only take a few hours. This really is for a new generation. This is NOT the book for you if you want to buy 10 boxes of fruit and do nothing but can for three days. These are small batches. They usually yield 6-7 half pints. A few hours, a little clean up, you’re done. I LOVE the stirring. I just go to my happy place and think. It’s marvelous.
Happy upside: non-spoiling food (as long as it seals properly and the jars don’t break) that I can eat in case of emergency and not get sick. I can tell you, though, that I’m essentially constantly jamming (especially this summer), because the jams do not last long around this house. Local gluten-free bread popped in the toaster with whatever jam I have open is a staple for me.
If you’re interested in learning how to can and want some advice on how to start, let me know!