Wednesday, July 4, 2012

No Well Peach Jam

I had bought 3 boxes of peaches to make jam.  Then we lost power and they sat on the counter.  They got softer and I knew I had to use them or toss them.  I couldn't stand the thought of throwing them away and my friend couldn't come over because we were roasting and had no toilet because the well pump couldn't pump water.


I figured if they could make jam on Little House On The Prairie, I could do it in my house!  We had several flats of half liter water bottles. 


I filled pots with water and heated it for washing and rinsing the canning jars and lids. 


I had a peach rinsing bowl and started peeling.   They peeled easily because they were perfectly ripe.  I had a garbage bowl for peelings and pits.


The stove is gas (way easier than Little House) but the ignition is electric, so I used a gun-type lighter for barbecues.  It worked great.


I also needed fresh lemons and when Lee went out for some errands, he picked some up.  I washed them with baby wipes and rinsed them in fresh water.  I rolled them with the palm of my hand to loosen the juice, cut and squeezed them in a bowl.  I didn't worry about the pits as I was just going to scoop out a Tablespoon of juice at a time.  I followed the instructions in the Sure Jell package for the recipe.

I chopped the peaches in a small dice and put them in a large four cup measuring cup.  As I chopped I added a Tablespoon at a time and stirred them to keep the peaches from turning brown.  It took 2 Tablespoons of lemon juice.  Then I mashed them so that there was still small hunks of fruit.  That's the best part of the jam!  I did this after I stirred in the Sure Jell to mix it even more thoroughly.


I measured out the sugar so that it was all ready and started cooking.  There is a lot of stirring and it boiled a lot faster than when I had made the blackberry jam.  The peaches only had 4 cups of fruit and the blackberries called for 5 cups, so that had something to do with it.  I chopped the peaches for the next batch while the first batch was cooking.  I kept stirring and checking the batch for boiling.  Remember the old saying, A watched pot never boils.  And then remember my addition to that, An unwatched pot boils over!  So check back frequently!

An aside on the boiling of hot liquid on freakishly hot days in homes with no air conditioning.  No matter how hot it gets it is NOT a good idea to take your shirt off.  And that's all I'll say about that.

I decided to make these "vegan".  The recipe says that you can use one teaspoon of butter to keep the jam from foaming when cooking.  Instead I just skimmed the little bit of foam off the top before putting the finished jam in the cleaned jars.

After the jam was in the jars and the lids screwed down tightly..careful, they are REALLY hot... I lowered them into my large pot to boil for 10 minutes.  I was glad that I hadn't emptied the pot from the last batch of jam, because it took a LOT of water and I didn't have to deplete my supply of bottles to fill it.


I started my first batch at 8:00 and finished the last at 12:00.  I had three full batches and one sugar free (Splenda) batch of three jars.  There were 3 peaches left over. Oh, and Lee ate one.  So that worked out perfectly.

The clean up also used bottled water and the hot water from the pot used to sterilized the jars.  Not bad for no power.  Now I have the jam to take to Lee's family reunion in Michigan.  The rest of the jam I may give as Christmas gifts.  Therefore I have named them....wait for it....No-well Jam.  Get it???? Noel???  Sure you do.

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