Friday, June 28, 2013

A Successful First Attempt of Canning Jam

A couple of weeks ago, my husband and I journeyed to the Lake Oswego Farmers' Market

My hubby discovered Chocolate Habaneros a couple of years ago.  They have an amazing flavor and are a perfect addition to salsas, guacamole, and chili.  Unfortunately, this year we were late in our arrival at the annual Master Gardener's Spring Garden Fair (held at the Clackamas County Fairgrounds the weekend before Mother's Day) where we have purchased these plants in the past.   However, the gentleman that sells the pepper plants planned to be at the Lake Oswego Farmers' Market on June 8th.  Thus, our fun Saturday excursion. (I will have to find out the name of the pepper man's business from my hubby and add that to a later post...)

Unfortunately, Chocolate Habaneros do not germinate well.  So, we were unable to purchase any to grow them this year.  However, we purchased a Chocolate Ghost Pepper plant instead.  (Even my hubby is a little nervous about the heat these may generate!)  He also found several other pepper plants he wanted to try, which made him a happy camper.

As for me?  Well, I knew I wanted to make a homemade jam for this month's Daring Bakers' Challenge.  So, I picked up half a flat of fresh, organic strawberries at the Farmers' Market.  My wonderful mom gave me her canner, as she no longer uses it, and I set about searching the internet for a good recipe.

When I stumbled across How to Can Some Jam: A Simple Method Without Pectin or (Refined) Sugar on the 100 Days of Real Food Blog, I knew I found my recipe.  This Strawberry Honey Jam recipe is from Ashley Eller with Sweetie Pie Bakery.

Click HERE for the recipe.

I only had 3 pounds of strawberries, so I cut the ingredients in half.

There was only one problem with this jam.  Monkey (my 16-year-old) likes it so much that he REALLY did not want me to use it in my Daring Bakers' Challenge.  *sigh*  His favorite snack is toast with jam, honey or cinnamon and sugar.  The fact that this jam is made with honey makes it absolutely perfect for him.  I know.  How? He a point of telling me.  He actually glared at me when I mentioned using some of his precious jam for my challenge, which is very unlike him!

Luckily, a blueberry farm we like to visit opened last weekend.  They were closed Monday through Wednesday.  And Thursday, simply did not work for me - I had plans.  My hubby and I went to see The Steve Miller Band perform at the McMenamins Edgefield Concert on the Lawn with friends of ours.  I may be dating myself, but it was fun to hear "Abracadabra," "Fly Like an Eagle" and "The Joker" performed live!

So, today, I am off to the Morning Shade Farms to pick up 10 pounds of blueberries and honey.  (We normally pick our own, and I still hope to this summer, but feeling the way I have recently, this was the perfect way to have enough fresh blueberries to freeze for the winter and make more jam!)

I hope to have my June Challenge posted by the end of the weekend...

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