Tuesday, July 22, 2008

In a Jam

I'm having a metanoia moment.

We just made two batches of blueberry-lime jam. It is so indescribably good. We made half-pint and miniature jars, many of which are going to wind up in family's and friends' Christmas baskets.

I never before thought of ever making my own jam. As far as that goes, I've never really had a burning desire to can. (Perhaps because of many summers spent steppin' and fetchin' during my mother's own formidable canning schedule.) I've enjoyed our salsa and applesauce from last year, but the process frankly didn't really inspire me in the way that it inspired Fellow Traveler.

Today, however, I think I caught the bug. In my mind's eye I saw rows of jewel-hued jam jars in the fruit cellar. And I thought of my maternal grandmother, who canned anything and everything edible on the farmstead to feed the poverty-wracked family during the Depression, who was happiest toward the end of autumn when the very last jar was placed in the very last shelf spot in her root cellar. For some reason I think she's smiling right now.

Anyway...here is our recipe for blueberry-lime jam, from the Ball Blue Book. It kicks.

Blueberry Lime Jam

4 1/2 cups blueberries
1 pcakage powdered pectin
5 cups sugar
1 TBS grated lime peel
1/2 cup lime juice

Crush blueberries one layer at a time. Combine crushed berries and powdered pectin in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Add sugar, stirring until dissolved. Stir in grated lime peel and lime juice. Return to a rolling boil and boil 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Skim foam if necessary. Ladle hot jam into hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch of headspace. Adjust 2-piece caps. Process 15 minutes in a boiling water canner. Makes about 8 half-pints.


Tom in Ontario said...

We (well mostly my wife) made jam for the first time this year. A few weeks ago we did strawberries (I say we because I did help somewhat) and then on Saturday she did blueberries.

It tastes great. We used local berries. We feel good about it.

zorra said...

Blueberry-lime! Interesting. I wouldn't have thought of that.

The first few years we lived here, the Scientist and I would go out picking dewberries (a type of wild blackberry)and would make jam. We haven't done that in about a decade...It's been a couple of years since I made strawberry preserves, too. Now you're inspiring me!

My Iowa farmboy friend says he never got to enjoy the fresh vegetables in summer, because they weren't allowed to eat them...every single one had to be put up.

ProclaimingSoftly (PSanafter-thought) said...

I remember my mom canning plums off of a neighbor's tree and tomatoes. Probably some Jam too. I always said that the only reason I'd ever can was for pickled beets, but I found out that these can be put up in the fridge. I do rhubarb fridge jam too. And at the end of August, those humble little non-descript prune plums are divine when cooked. They turn the most wonderful "plum" color when cooked. Sort of like the ugly duckling turning into a swan. I also don't can those. Just eat them when they are cooked.

Sally said...

ooohh I feel a jam making session coming on!

Mata H said...

I haven't made jam for years, but I used to love making Tomato-Spice jam and Peach jam.....ah memories.