Sunday, July 02, 2006
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.