Tuesday, September 17, 2013

I have had a lovely summer!
I have travelled almost as much as I've been home! Okay, well... that's an exaggeration, but I have been gone quite a bit. I've been to Gold Country California with my dad, Puget Sound & Seattle in Washington with my husband, the Willamette Valley to see friends, and camping last weekend with the hubby in the Cascades. 
And my summer's not over yet!
This week, a close friend and I are having a sister goddess camp out, and then the week after that, I'm off to the Valley again to visit my cousin before her baby shower.

As much as I'm a nester, I'm also an explorer.
I feel like I'm getting it all out of my system before the fall winds and winter snows come in, and then I will cozily hunker down with my knitting.

So, what do all these travels have to do with jam?
Glad you asked! ;)

On my trip to the Willamette Valley, my friend Denae and I went to a local farmers' market, where I picked up a half flat of raspberries.
There is nothing like fresh raspberries!
Right there, I determined I would make jam.

Since I had never made jam before, I went the easy route, and did freezer jam.
If you've never done canning, this is a good place to start, because you almost can't mess it up! I say almost, because you do have to use the recommended amount of sugar, or it won't set up. There are varieties that use less sugar, so look for those if that's what you so desire.

I found an instant pectin from Ball that you don't have to cook.
The flavor from the raspberries is so nicely fresh! This jam will be my little bit of summer to last me into the fall & winter months.

On the inside of the pectin label, they have this recipe:

For every pint of jam ~
1 2/3 c. of prepared fruit
2/3 c. sugar
2 Tbsp. Ball RealFruit Instant Pectin

If you are making peach jam ~
add 1 Tbsp. lemon juice

I substituted honey for sugar, which gave it a wonderful flavor.
For mixing the fruit, I just blended it up in my food processor.

The directions were so simple:
Mix the pectin and sugar.
Add the blended fruit. Stir 3 minutes.
Seriously... one of the most easy recipes ever!

First I made the Raspberry Honey Jam

Then I experimented with Raspberry Nectarine Honey Jam.
Oh yum! Make sure you add a little lemon juice for nectarines and peaches for the flavor.
The sweet & tart combo tastes like candy from a jar!

Your jam will keep in the freezer for a whole year.
However, I don't think it will last that long in our house.

My hubby is so happy! He LOVES jam!
(Anyone else think of John Watson just then? Just me... okay...)

He even bought more bread recently just so he could eat more jam.
This might become a problem... I guess only if he eats it all before I can get some.