Tag Archives: canning

cherry.jam

Wow. Do we acknowledge the elephant in the room which is pointing judgey fingers at me for not posting in so long? No. Probably best not to and just move along like there is nothing to see here…

Anyhoo. Whilst shopping at Costco a few weeks ago I noticed a great deal on a 3 pound container of cherries. I love me some cherries. A lot. To the point where I actually have to count out how many I am allowed to eat in a single sitting lest I make myself super sick. Throughout the week I ate about a pound (don’t you dare judge me) and the last 2 were just dying to be made into jam.

And do you know how easy it is to make cherry jam? Stupidly easy. As in, no Sure Gel or pectin of any kind needed. Just some pitted cherries, sugar, a squeeze of lemon juice and some time.

 

 

  • Half 2 – 2 1/2 pounds of cherries and remove the pits (Or get smart when you buy the next batch of 6 pounds and invest in a cherry pitter. That thing is life changing) and add to your favorite pan or dutch oven.
  • Add 2 1/2 cups of sugar and 2 good squirts of lemon juice to the pan, and simmer while stirring occasionally for about 20 minutes

 

Note on simmering time: depending on the water content of the cherries and the viscosity you like your jam, this may take longer. My 6 pound cherry batch took about an hour and a half – no joke – because they were super fresh and I like a thicker jam.

When your cherries have cooked down to a consistency you like (think about the juice in between) you have a choice: leave the cherries chunky or zip the mixture with an immersion blender. I do the latter, but don’t smooth the whole batch. I like a surprise cherry chunk here or there, but not a whole jar full. (And of course if you go the immersion blender route, please, BE CAREFUL. That shit is hot. Like, nearing magma levels of hot and we don’t need any burns from splattering cherries. It’s just not really a good story.)

After you have your cherry jam cooked, zipped and finished, you’re ready to water bath! Now of course you could eat this right away, but I prefer to preserve it in the cupboard, so into a 10 minute water bath it went, complete with all the safety protocols for canning blah blah and blah.

 

See how easy it is? And now you have homemade cherry jam to crack open when the wind is howling and you don’t want to leave your house for comfort food in a few months. Thinking ahead is so smart.

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the.worst.zucchini.relish

This is a recipe for the worst zucchini relish ever. I entered it in the state fair last year, and of the 3 zucchini relish entries, I did not place. Not even 3rd. It was that bad. The only nice thing that could be said was “beautiful jar” – the thing I had no actual hand in making. I find this hilarious.

 

My husband on the other hand loves this stuff. He puts it on pizza, hot dogs, sandwiches, etc. We sent a jar to my father in law, and I believe it was gone within a week. So, who really cares what the fair folks say, eh? (Though I totally entered a jar this year…just to see.)

  • Grate 10 cups of zucchini into a bowl. Chop 3 -4 bell peppers (red makes for the nicest presentation later) finely, as well as 2 1/2 cups onion. Mix with 5 TB salt and allow to sit in the fridge overnight.
  • The next day, rinse and drain the goods that sat overnight. Add to a pot.
  • Add 3 cups sugar, 3 cups vinegar, 1 TB dried dill, 1 tsp coarse ground pepper, 1 tsp celery seed, and bring to a boil
  • Boil for 30 minutes – start the water in your canner.
  • Pack hot sterilized jars with relish, add sprigs of dill along the side to pretty it up.
  • Water bath for 10 minutes, and viola! The worst zucchini relish ever.

I don’t usually like relish myself (I’m a picky pickle or pickled eater) but think this is pretty good stuff. Give it a try. I bet you’ll agree. And if you want to come judge the category at the fair, let me know!

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