Just Jamin’

July 15, 2016

The recipe said, “Quick and Easy Apricot Pineapple Jam“.

The dirty liars.

We have a thing for apricot jam.  This year was ‘the year’.  ‘THE’ apricot tree belongs to Mother Mary, but it is My Sweet Friend’s job to pick the fruit for her mom.  Every other year is a bumper crop and My Sweet Friend heaves great sighs, just thinking about it.

‘No problem’, I told her.  ‘I’ll help you!’  I had two days to pick.  No problem.

Day One: I picked, then went to Store A. for sugar and pectin.

Day Two: My Loving Spouse and I picked.  (I also picked up the fruit on the ground and brought it home for the chickens, who now have a steady supply of apricots to dine on.)

Day One’s pick goes into the sink for a rinse.jam sinkDay Two’s pick waits their turn.jam bagsCanning jars go into the dishwasher to be sterilized.  My Loving Spouse says, “That is more than enough jars!”  Note to self, do not listen to that guy!  I should have washed every single jar we own!

The jam recipe should have said:

Apricots, Sugar, Pectin, Pineapple and a Full Tank of Gas.

Off to Store B. for more sugar and pectin, except they didn’t have any pectin.  I do pick up three cans of pineapple to make a ‘few’ (9) jars of apricot-pineapple jam.  The first can I grab is perfect, crushed pineapple, so I do not notice that the next two cans are pineapple chunks.  Yes, I used them anyway!  A stop at Store C., who also is completely out of pectin.  Let me tell you, the fruit is ripe in the valley and people are busy ‘putting up’.  Store D. comes through with pectin, so I return to the farm to start cooking.

Number Two Son is gone.  My Loving Spouse is gone.  I realize I still do not have enough sugar for the 50+ cups of apricots.  I call My Girl for reinforcements, but she doesn’t answer.  I think about asking my neighbor, to borrow some sugar, but I seriously do not thinking asking to borrow 24 cups of sugar is practical, so I return to Store B. for more sugar.  I might have spent half this week’s food budget on sugar!  (Yes, I know, I should have figured it out ahead of time.  Honestly, jam takes so much sugar, that by the time it is made I can hardly eat it!)

The fruit is pitted and sliced.  Luckily, I have a really big pot!jam pot

Now I start cooking.  I move 15 cups of apricots to a separate large pot to add the pineapple to this batch and to make room in the big pot.  It sort of overflows.  It makes a small mess.jam bubbling potI cannot stop now.  I jam on.  Filling a few (9) jars with apricot and pineapple (chunks) of jam, thinking that at least Number One Wife will like it, as she loves pineapple.  (Also, she is pregnant, so she can eat a lot of jam!)  At this point I have to abandon the rest of the apricot pineapple pot, as I am becoming concerned over the number of cans I have at the ready.  In between stirring the giant pot of apricots, I start sterilizing more cans on the stove, while also stealing every canning ring we have on every jar in the pantry.

The big pot now overflows making a colossal mess.  I am talking sticky and smoke and it is everywhere.jam bubbling pot twoI cannot stop!  I remove as much foam as I can and stir!  All the other large pots are full of sterilizing jars or the abandoned apricot-pineapple jam, so I have nowhere to move the jam.

The kitchen is mostly sticky, but…jam stove

the jars get filled.jam jars36 in random sizes…mostly large…and I think…. this is why my mother made jam with the gals on her street…people should not jam alone!

I then spend the next 2 hours trying to clean the kitchen.  The dogs come into help out with the floor.  On my next trip to Store A, I will be buying new rings for the stove.

Jam anyone?

With or without pineapple chunks?

  • Diane

    I would love to see pictures of THEgrand child-it has been a while. Oh, how I miss you. So glad I get to hear about things in your blog! Thanks for taking the time to write it. We thought we would have some time to drive up for a visit but Mark has a new job, part time but he works every day.

    • Oh, I miss you too! I would love to see you! I love my life, but how I miss my good friends!

  • Susan Scott

    What a job! I thought you were going to relax for a while. Just kidding…sort of! But, what really surprised me is that Number One Wife is pregnant! Did I miss that in another posting? That is so wonderful…congratulations!

    • No, you didn’t… this is my first leaking of the press! I got to go to the ultra sound. I will send you some Jonah pictures via email! If you have a night in August that opens up, let me know… I will bring jam!

  • Miriam

    I’ll take mine with pineapple, please! What an undertaking, Ellen. I agree, you should not “jam” alone again.

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