Reading the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving is rather intimidating. They (rightly so) hammer home the importance of sterility and proper techniques, so you know, you avoid botulism and other nasty contaminations. But I'll be honest, the book frankly scared me out of canning for more than a year. It just made it seem like canning was something I just wasn't cut out to do.
But two weekends a go, I went to a canning demonstration at Surfas, put on by the people behind the Saving the Season blog. And despite almost going postal on a woman who got on my case because Vivian was crying, it was very helpful, if only because it showed me that canning is not, in fact, rocket science.
Fast forward to this last weekend. We went up to Kingsburg to visit the family, and while there, we took a side trip to the Fresno State Farmers Market. While there, I picked up 8 lbs of fresh peaches to can. Monday night, I finally decided it was time. I followed the rustic peach jam recipe on StS, and added 1/2 tsp of cinnamon and 1 tsp of ginger. And after much tribulation and swearing (the darn skins would not slip off the peaches!), here is what I ended up with:
No, not the cans of PBR. Six pints of jam! I didn't add pectin, and frankly some websites scared me about cooking the jam past the jell point, so it's rather loose. More like chunks of peaches in a thick syrup. But I think it tastes divine!
Hearing the jar lids pop to signal that they are properly sealed was like music to my ears!
Now I just have to think about what I want to put up next. Hmm, plums are in season...