Mim's Knitting Frenzy

Follow the dark and skeery path into the dank recesses of Miriam's mind. There you will find many a knitting needle and the occasional ominous crochet hook. Sinister looking book presses and towering stacks of paper. Where various handcrafts lurk waiting to pounce on the unsuspecting...

Location: Salt Lake City, Utah, United States

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Jammy goodness

I celebrated my Independence Day holiday by proving my independence from tradition! :) I did absolutely nothing that could be considered traditional for the 4th of July. No BBQ, no fireworks, no shopping. I started the day off by cleaning my kitchen, tidying my living room and folding laundry (all things that have moved down in the frantic list of MUST. DO. NOW!), and then I knit for a bit while C and I watched a movie. And then the fabulous Katherine came over to help make JAM! On Saturday I had purchased a ton of fruit from the Farmer's Market (or at least it FELT like a ton as I was hauling it home), and so I had apricots, raspberries, cantaloupe, and cherries taking over my fridge.

After cutting, mashing, boiling, sugaring, skimming, pouring, bottling and boiling again, THIS is what I had.

To the left, we have Raspberry-Cherry Jam, made with Red Raspberries and Queen Anne Cherries (Queen Anne is a semi-golden cherry). To the right we have Apricot-Cantaloupe Jam, which I had made last year and LOVED, so I made some more. And between them we have their love-child. I sort of tossed all the fruit I had left over into the pot and ended up with Apricot-Canteloupe-Raspberry Jam, which is actually QUITE yummy.

And if you recall my LAST jam making attempt (Strawberry-Mango), I had a problem with the fruit all floating to the top, and it didn't set completely. Well, glory be, I figured out what the problem was. I didn't use a large enough pot for the Strawberry-Mango which, considering that the jam doubles size while it's boiling, made for uneven heating as I kept lifting the pot off of the burner to keep it from boiling over. And the fruit separation seems to have come from not skimming enough of the foam off. You see, because of the boiling, there is an opaque foam that forms on the surface of the jam. You have to skim this off if you want clear jam. And what I discovered is that since I wasn't taking enough time to skim all the foam off, there wasn't enough time for the jam to cool down a bit before I bottled it. And as it cools, it becomes more viscous and therefore holds the fruit suspended better. So there you have it, ALWAYS skim the foam off VERY well, and ALWAYS use a steady heat so that your jam will set. This bunch came out PERFECT!

I realized half way through that it would have been good to take step-by-step pictures, but I promise I will think of it next time.


p.s. I just saw that the Summer Knitty is up. And LOOKIE! Salt Lake grrl Karen has a pair of FABULOUS socks in this issue!