Last night I made jam for the first time ever. It was a lot easier than I suspected. If you get the crystal pectin that comes in a paper package it can be composted and it is a garbage-free event. You can also make it the old fashioned way without any pectin, by boiling the crap out of the fruit. We reused old spaghetti sauce jars and sealed them with wax. I’m not sure what will happen to the wax after. I think when I make it myself, I will use real mason jars-they can be used over and over and it eliminates the wax, which may be garbage.
We made peach jam first, with local organic peaches (mmmmm) and we followed the recipe to a tee. It worked out very well. Then we decided to experiment and made plum blueberry jam (again with local fruit-the plums were organic but not the blueberries). It was a bit of a crap-shoot ( wow, I said crap twice in this post already!) because the ratio of fruit to sugar and pectin is drastically different for blueberries and plums. It turned out wonderfully! It’s a great consistency and very yummy, although it tastes like blueberry jam because the plum flavour gets lost. It’s a beautiful colour though, which is a good thing because I spilled some on Susan’s floor, so if it stains, at least it will look nice.
On a slightly different topic, if you live in Ontario, get your butt out to a farmers market now! It’s harvest season and the produce is amazing! On Thursday I went to the Dufferin Grove market and it was the best I have ever seen it. I was able to purchase my groceries for the week (except for oranges and lemons which I need for the vitamin C, but they don’t grow around here). Here are some of the highlights of my shopping trip.
-a small water melon that had yellow flesh
It tasted divine and it was possible to carry home (where as the grocery store sized ones are toooooooo heavy). My friend Blair and I closed our eyes and tried to test if it tasted different than a pink watermelon. It was hard to tell. It tasted better because it was picked that morning, just a few miles away and it was organic, but it didn’t necessarily taste yellow.
-Chard with pink and yellow stems
You can’t actually eat the stems (or at least, I don’t), but it was very pretty
-Carrots of all colours! red, orange, yellow, purple etc.
I didn’t realize carrots came in anything but orange. Apparently at some point someone from Germany decided orange carrots were best and now that’s what we get. Purple carrots look very pretty in salad-the are orange on the inside so when you grate them, you get an aesthetically pleasing orange and purple striped effect.
-delicious organic peaches and plums, which other people had tried to convince me didn’t exist. They do exist and you are far better off knowing so. Yummmmy!