Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Finny Jams

I'm not sure where, but at some point in my recent beach ramblings I must have mentioned that I was going to make jam. If not, well, then it must have just been trapped in my brain where it's been rattling around like a bat on fire.

Why was it consuming so much brain power? Why, the possibility of failure, of course! Yes, any time I try something new, I get overwhelmed with a fear of massive project failure that plagues my every waking thought until the time comes when I can execute on said project and see it through to it's end - whether that end be a complete disaster or some measure of success. Oh, and I also plan, strategize, pester people with questions, research, imagine and plot until I can finally put it all into action.

Canning jam definitely fell into this category. Probably because annoying people kept mentioning botulism and making their scary faces of death and wagging their fingers. Enough to make anyone wary I'd wager. So, even before I picked the season's first blackberry, I was hatching a Jam Plan. Item #1 on the Plan, you'll be glad to know, was "Do not kill anyone." Beyond that, this Plan involved many convoluted and legitimately nutty stages that I won't bore you with. What I will say is that it appears (still skeptical of potential chaos) that my first jam making experience was successful.

Don't believe me?

(Ignore the stupid Pectin box. This was a mean trick played on moi by our friends at OSH who knew that I was a jam-making virgin who didn't know better. Martha set them, and me, straight. I shoved this back in the cabinet and moved on. Pectin-free.)

Clean and sterilized jars, lids, rings, tools, funnels, countertop, towels, kitchen, cat, self...I couldn't stop sterilizing. Thank you everyone for instilling The Fear of Botulism in me. Even though the risk of this happening with fruit jam is extremely remote, if not entirely impossible (Thank you USDA. Next time I check with you first.)

And our final product. Actually, half of it. There are 12 (ok 11, I had to sample one for "safety") half pint jars in total boxed up and ready to spamp with a Finny Jams label that has yet to be created.

What? You didn't want to see a chronological photo essay on my jam-making extravaganza? That defies logic. So, I will carry on.

I have sampled the product, found it edible (if not completely Yum) and decided it is give-worthy. I will be test-running it's giveability today as I profusely thank our friends for watching the FurBeast while we were enthusiastically beaching. I do not anticipate failure here. However, if impressive jam-giving failure occurs, I have blackberry pie filling ready to be poured into a tried and true pie crust.

Fingers crossed.

P.S. LadyLino - you have a sample headed your way. Let me know what you think of the recipe. You know; too sweet, too seedy, too thick, too deadly, whatever...


  1. Congratulations on your canning and don't worry about botchulism, worry about botulism. ;-)

  2. Hehe - thanks Steven :) You are saving me from the Evil Editor Eye that I get from my husband when he sees stuff like that up on my blog. I really need to make friends with the spell checker on Blogger.

    Perhaps I am high on sugar from all that jam?

  3. All sorts of horrible spelling errors slip by when I'm posting. It doesn't help that I'm a lousy typist.

  4. I went through this exact same experience at Christmas time. My first batch (tangerine marmalade) was a bust. But the cranberry, pineapple, and pomegranate ones were pretty good. The strawberry was too sweet.

    For the citrus ones I didn't need pectin, for the pomegranate one I used a type I got at Whole Foods. I really like the old-fashioned quality of all this.

  5. AY! I so wish we could do this when you come next month. Alas, I have none of the supplies, nor the berries. I am totally proud of you for doing this. I hope you'll teach me one day!

  6. I just goggled botulism and jam and your blog popped up! Too funny. Hey, when are you going visit Seattle?!?!?!?!?!


[2013 update: You can't comment as an anonymous person anymore. Too many douchebags were leaving bullshit SPAM comments and my inbox was getting flooded, but if you're here to comment in a real way like a real person, go to it.]

Look at you commenting, that's fun.

So, here's the thing with commenting, unless you have an email address associated with your own profile, your comment will still post, but I won't have an email address with which to reply to you personally.

Sucks, right?

Anyway, to remedy this, I usually come back to my posts and post replies in the comment field with you.

But, if you ever want to email me directly to talk about pumpkins or shoes or what it's like to spend a good part of your day Swiffering - shoot me an email to finnyknitsATgmailDOTcom.