I’m Jammin’

September 10, 2011

No trip to Portland is complete without some pleasantly cliche urban homesteading.

I started the process at Kruger Farms on Sauvie Island

Summertime berry picking is so popular that the berries are always pretty well picked over.  We had to settle for some blueberries that weren’t quite as ripe & plump as I had hoped.  Next time I’d look for a more out-of-the way farm.  Nonetheless, we got 5 pounds of blueberries for $10.

I got home and realized that I had blueberries and a crock pot, but absolutely no idea how to make jam.  Luckily, there are tons of websites on the subject.

First I had to take a quick trip to New Seasons to pick up some pectin (derived from apples, it’s what gives jelly the jelly consistency).  Then I put the prescribed amounts of lemon juice, sugar, pectin and blueberries into my crock pot and cooked for 10 hours.

I followed all of the directions, but fer Peet’s sake, my jam was still liquid!  Trouble at the homestead.

If your jam doesn’t set properly, the internets advises you to bring the liquidy jam, plus more lemon juice, sugar, and pectin to a boil for one minute, and then can it.  That did the trick!

While the jam was boiling, I sanitized the lids.  Then, after the jam was canned, I had to boil the sealed jars of jam for 10 minutes to sanitize and vacuum seal them.

Now I’m one step closer to a Little House on the Prairie.