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Let's Jam!!

Tonight I went to a canning demonstration at my library by the author of Preserving by the Pint. It's small batch canning for folks like me with a CSA membership and just a bit too much fruit on my hands -- but not enough to put up a few dozen jars.

Marisa, the author and writer on this blog, made a vanilla plum jam in the hour-long session. All that was left to do at the end was cool the two half-pint jars and eat them. That. Was. It.

And I was so PUMPED after seeing how easy it is.

I bought the book several months ago and still found the whole canning thing difficult to imagine. My Mom never canned/jarred, so I've never seen it done. Just reading about preserving food sounds exotic and risky. I don't want to give anyone food poisoning from a jar of my homemade jam, for pete's sake.

But her step by step was so simple, and we got to interact and ping questions as she did each task. I'm a doer-learner, ya know? And watching a demo, I'm SO ready to make some jam! Confidence built!

Here's the best part ... she made the 2 half-quart jams in a small pan (have it) and boiled them in an asparagus steamer -- WHICH I HAVE. And hardly have any use for. I love a new use for a something I already own, am I right?!

Ball Utensil Set - In Green!
She suggested buying three canning-specific items -- jar tongs, lid catcher and large-mouth funnel. All for under $15 on Amazon (there's a canning starter pack). And I can get a 12-pack of half-pint jars for about $12. Other than the fruit -- which I pick up tons of weekly through my fruit CSA -- this new skill will cost me under $30 to take on.

Yogurt, now jam/pickling/chutney?! And did I mention I finished my first quilt?! I'm well on my way to hitting all my new self-sustaining, life-skills goals for 2014. Go Jessica! I'll need to make a new list.


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