Monday, September 13, 2010

Peach & Blueberry Ginger Jam - Video Interview

One of my earliest memories of growing up next to my Grandparent's farm in North Carolina is how the kitchen felt when G-Ma was canning. The air was moist, the windows were fogged over, you had to talk over the rattling of jars in the giant boiling water pots, there was sugar on the floor that had spilled from the scoops, and there were women laughing - lots of laughing.

Peach & Blueberry Ginger Jam
The September 2010 Daring Cooks’ challenge was hosted by John of Eat4Fun. John chose to challenge The Daring Cooks to learn about food preservation, mainly in the form of canning and freezing. He challenged everyone to make a recipe and preserve it. John’s source for food preservation information was from The National Center for Home Food Preservation.

IRONICALLY: This month's Tigress Can/Jam challenge was Stone Fruit as chosen by Hip Girl's Guide. So, rather than have double posts - I doubled up on a post.

The choices of stone-fruits are numerous at this time of the season in California. I'm also keen on using combinations and my little blueberry plant is giving me her last jewels, so I paired those with golden freestone peaches.

Our host for Daring Cooks, John, gave us the option of using one of our own recipes if canning and preserving were already in our wheel-house. It's not only familiar to me - it's like home. So, for this post, I'll add a little video that I had the honor of being in for an interview about Boutique foods in Southern California. I'll add the recipe that I used that day for Peach & Blueberry Ginger Jam. I have many jams on my site also, and I hope you'll take a look if anything appeals to you.


2lbs Peaches (peeled and sliced)
1lb Blueberries
32oz. organic sugar
2Tbls. minced fresh ginger
2 lemons (juice and zest)
2 cinnamon sticks (*optional and to be removed before putting jam in jars)

1) In a large pot add: peaches, blueberries, sugar, lemon juice and zest (and cinnamon sticks). Stir to combine.
2) Macerate (let sit, covered for flavors to mix) in refrigerator overnight or at least 8 hours
3) When ready to continue, add ginger to pot and heat on Med., stirring to dissolve sugar for about 10 minutes.
4) Remove the cinnamon sticks, and increase heat. Stir now and then.
5) Heat til liquid from jam runs off a wooden spoon slowly, rather than a single stream. This may take about 25 minutes depending on amount cooking. (You can also check by putting a small ceramic plate in the freezer before starting your jam, then check the jam set by spooning a bit of the jam on the cold plate. If the jam doesn't run, and has a bit of a rise to it - the jam is ready. You can also check by temperature - jam sets around 219-223F. )

If you are canning the jam, follow the safety rules for home canning in a hot water bath (easy and conveniently found here.)

If you are making this for consumption within a few weeks, you can pour jam into clean containers, let cool, cover and keep in refrigerator.

Anybody can jam, so get your jam on!
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