Strawberries. Blueberries. Raspberries. Blackberries. Peaches. Apricots. Plums. Pluots.
Tonight I made my first batch of real jam. Until today I've only ever made freezer jam, which is delicious and requires only mashing fruit, adding sugar and pectin, and scooping it into jars -- voila! I learned tonight that when you cook jam, an enormous box of strawberries = only 3 little teeny jars of jam. Good to know.
The three little teeny jars of jam (strawberry with a splash of Grand Marnier, a diced half granny smith apple and 1/2 c blueberries) were so delicious that I went back to the store for more berries to whip up a second batch. It's a little late. I am tired (or exhausted). But I had successfully sterilized, filled, and sealed three jars of jam and seemed quite gifted at making such delicious jam, so I decided to press on.
Once both pots were set into motion -- the jam pot and the pot of boiling water for sterilizing more lids -- I sat at my computer. The first thing that happened was that I smelled burning. A bad kind of burning. So I jumped up and sure enough, it turns out that using a small plastic-handled strainer to hold lids in a pot of boiling water is a bad idea because the entire strainer melts and begins to catch fire.
So after throwing that into the sink and opening all of the windows, I stirred the jam (stir occasionally) and sat back down at the computer. After 25 minutes, it became clear that the sugary, strawberry smell had actually grown too pungent and that I, in fact, was burning the entire batch of jam. Burning it. All of it. Burned.
SO... I am going to go to bed now. And leaving a giant pot of burned jam in the kitchen. And reconsidering my jamming gifted-ness. Maybe tomorrow there will be more...
[added a bit later:
I just took a spoonful of jam up to Ben in bed in hopes that it is salvageable. He ate a big mouthful because he loved the last batch, but immediately: Uchgh, it's burned and then lots of faces and involuntary tongue sticking out. All right, I'm throwing it out.]