June 23, 2011 at 6:00 am
I’d like to talk to you about the most harrowing day of my life.
It was a nice, hot summer day, sort of like today. We woke up early and went strawberry picking.
And then we came home, and I lost my mind. While trying to can jam for the first time.
I realize now that I made some rookie errors. First — I tried doing this whole thing alone with two little kids who desperately wanted to help.
Frankly, I was scared they just weren’t sterile enough.
I think that was my second problem. I was very, very worried about giving my whole family a horrendous illness.
I realize now that people have been canning for a very long time, and it was way before dishwashers, or special tongs or soap that smells like apricots.
But it wasn’t until I heard that nice little ping that I felt the stress headache start to dissipate. And it was weeks later before I felt like maybe I had been a little bit nutty about the boiling and clean towels. The 9 clean towels.
My final issue was the recipe. When I saw the insane amount of sugar, I almost gave up all together.
It was like a great snowy mountain of diabetes and tooth decay.
So next time, I am going to take a deep breath, worry a lot less about the possible microbes lurking in the slots in my spoon, and just have a little fun. I’m also picking a much healthier recipe like this one.
Although all that sugar and fear sure made some tasty first-timer jam.
Do you do any canning? What are your favorite recipes for preserving?