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I made jam over the weekend. Peach jam, with peaches my parents grow. This was my first ever attempt at hot water bath canning, but after the class last weekend, I wasn't really that worried about it. It seems with a few small precautions and a known good recipe, its actually pretty hard to screw it up.

I turned out 5 separate batches, which took all freaking day. Seriously, all day. Some of that was unnecessary down time - I waited an hour during my first batch for a wide mouthed funnel to be delivered (I forgot mine at home) and there was some fussing around while I figured out timing and such. But by the 5th batch, I had it down. The most frustrating part was that the batches were relatively small at 8 half pint jars per batch. They were forced into that by the amount of pectin required and a limitation on the canner of how many jars it could handle. If I'd had a bigger stove that would hold 2 canners at a time, it would have taken far less time. So a 6 burner stove is now on the wish list for the new, improved kitchen (whenever that becomes a reality).

Overall, though, I'd definitely do this again. Maybe do some stretching firs ,as hauling that canner + water + jars + jam was freaking heavy, but it was awesome. And I have 40 jars of jam that I know exactly what the ingredients are and where they came from. Of course, it doesn't hurt that they taste fantastic also.

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That's just awesome - there's something about knowing the entire process of a food that makes it even more food geekworthy. The fish I caught and cooked this summer springs to mind . . .

Ah, I miss fishing. There's just something about the hook to table process that you can't compare to. I'm finding the same thing to be true for the veggie garden. Things just taste better when they haven't been refrigerated.

How are your tomatoes doing? You haven't shared about your veggies in a while (not that you haven't been busy with other things ;) ).

My tomatoes are doing alright - it'll really depend on how long the warm lasts as to whether or not I get any of them. They're big and growing, but they're also green, green, green. We just don't have a long enough growing season for us to get more than a few of them ripe off the vine. Someone was saying that, up here, we should be starting the sproutlings in February - inside.


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