Monday, July 5, 2010


Fresh off the successful raspberry jelly venture, I picked up some peaches at the Plymouth Farmers' Market this past weekend.  I peeled a quart, diced them finely, and put together a batch of peach jam. 

There's just something sweet about a quart of diced peaches and 7 1/2 cups of sugar cooking on the stovetop!

The jam actually needed a few more peaches than the recipe called for.  You can see the jars didn't have the best peach:sugar ratio!  But it still tastes great!

While I was waiting to hear the lids on my jam "pop" I made supper!  This was the first cucumber from the garden this year.  I peeled it, sliced it, and then battered it in flour, salt, and pepper, and fried it in bacon grease!  I put a little sour cream on the side, and it made a great late-evening meal.  Then I ate some fresh peach preserves for dessert!

Up next - green pepper jelly!


I'm new to making jellies and jams, but the older I get the more I like to eat.  And that leads to me tinkering with things like curing, smoking, dehydrating, and even canning.  The wild raspberries are ripe in northern Indiana right now, so I decided this was as good a year as any to learn to make jelly.

After the berries are picked, they need to be "steeped" to release their juice.  A potato masher helps the process a little.

Then the juice is strained off by transferring the pulp into a collander with a couple of cheesecloth layers added.  Letting this happen naturally, without "squeezing" the pulp, keeps the jelly clear.

The juice is measured, returned to the stock pot, with lemon juice and sugar added.

Once the sugar is melted and the mixture brought to a boil, the powdered pectin is added and the stock boiled to a temperature pushing 220 degrees.

Meanwhile, the jars and lids are sterilized.

Jars are then filled, air bubbles removed, and 2-piece lids are placed and centered.  Jars are returned to the hot bath for 10 minutes of processing.

The final product is a terrific tasting wild raspberry jelly that's going to taste darned good on a buttered biscuit sometime this winter when the snow is piling up outside!