Sunday, July 02, 2006

Jelly Making

Today was a jelly (and jam) making day. I actually started the process on Friday night by taking the currants that I had frozen out of the freezer to thaw. Saturday morning I cooked up the currants and hung them in jelly bags to drip all day long to get the juice for the jelly. Saturday night I took the black raspberries and strawberries out of the freezer and cut up rhubarb. This morning I started making jelly at 6am. You cannot double batches of jelly - they won't turn out - you need to make back to back batches. I find making several batches back to back to take less time than making individual batches on different days - things like getting out the equipment and heating the water to steralize the jars and for the boiling water bath take a lot of time, but once the water is hot - doing additional batches doesn't take as long. I started with a batch of currant jelly, then I did two batches of black raspberry jam, a batch of strawberry rhubarb jam and lastly a batch of rhubarb jam. By 9:45 I was taking the last jars of rhubarb out of the boiling water bath to cool. I made 43 jars of jelly and jam and was done in time to still spend time with my family. I don't know - maybe it is just that I am organized, but I don't find jelly making to be that difficult or take that much time - I don't understand why it is a dying art. Yes, it is pretty easy to go to the store and buy it - but have you read the ingredients on that stuff? Most of the time it is not just fruit, sugar and pectin like mine is - why do they have to put high fructose corn syrup, artificial colors and flavors in it? I think mine looks beautiful and tastes great without all of that unhealthy stuff.


Blackswamp_Girl said...

I made my first batches of jelly every last year, and it was a disaster! One batch barely set, and the seals were not good on too many individual jars--operator error, I know. I hope to get to the point where I have as much success as you do, though... am going to give it another try this year.

Kimberly said...

I just LOVE this explanation of jam vs jelly...I've always wondered!! :)

I am so excited to see your progress in the jam/jelly dept...because that means we'll be able to purchase more from you soon!! :) :) :)

Wishing you a happy start to your week,

Kathi said...

Blackswamp girl, if you need any help - let me know - I've been there done that so many times in the past. I am glad to meet a fellow jelly maker!

Kimberly - just let me know what you want and it is yours free. I only sold some last year because I was unemployed - and I felt really weird about doing it since I have always made a ton and freely given it away. I love to share.

louisj80 said...

Hello Evereyone!

I made strawberry and strawberry raspberry jam this year for the first time. I was quite scared of them not sealing correctly. I just followed the recipe on the Sur-Jel box and it came out wonderful. The first batch that I made was not as thick as i'd like it. So my next batch I used a package and a half. I was so excited that each jar sealed properly. The only downside is that I was soooo hot in my kitchen with all of that boiling water. I do not see how anyone can make jam in a house that does not have an air conditioner. I was excited/sad that I gave away my very last jar of jam yesterday it was soo good I gave a lot of it away to share, but that very last jar was the hardest to give away. Oh well I guess i will have to make more!

Louis J. Gastelum