Preserving.

I can remember the first summer I made jam. I was rolling on the high of realizing I liked berries, and was living in Portland with my boyfriend, my best friend and her boyfriend. My relationship was on it’s way down but I was clueless. (Spoiler: They’re married now and populating.)

Anyways. Hot sugary jam everywhere, burnt fingers, totally exasperated. That was my first time. It felt like a little too much to take on.

But for some reason, I just kept doing it. A little here, a little there. A recipe I wanted to try, a bumper crop of tomatoes that needed to be dealt with.

Suddenly canning is an extension of me, just like gardening is. Maybe more so. I pick up little tricks along the way but I’ve settled down into my comfort zone. Canning is often a meditation for me. Moving through each step, maintaining the simple uniformity of fruit and headspace. I invite people into my little routines, sitting in the kitchen talking to me while I peel chop tomatoes or peel rhubarb.

The very act of making jam brings me such joy, that the joy of sharing of it with my friends and family is simply a nice coincidence.

I am embracing more opportunities to share my little jars of joy. You can find those endeavors here on Facebook.

Fun fact: Canning-goddess does not necessarily mean all-around-homesteading goddess, yet. Every winter as canning finally slows down I always turn to infusing liquors, or fermenting my own krauts. Every time, pffft. I am just not there yet. Someday. 

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2013 Preserves: Sweets

[I can only keep so many lists and bookmarks on any of the 3 computers I use.]

Strawberry Hibiscus Jam

Strawberry Jam with Thai Herbs

Early Rhubarb in Honey

Rhubarb & Red Cherry Jam

Hibiscus Rhubarb Jam

Sparkling Rhubarb Jelly <–That’s right, Jelly. (I rarely make jellies.)

Apple Rhubarb Chutney with Fennel and Cardamom

Raspberry Rose Jam

Raspberry Rosewater Syrup

Blueberry Lemongrass Syrup

Black+Blue Jam

Blueberry & Apple Jam, with Fennel and Bay

Blueberry Ginger Jam

Blueberry Maple Jam

Sour Cherry Jam

White Cherry & Peach Jam

Blackberry Peach Jam

Blackberry Sage Jam

Hot Mess Peach Jam

Nectarine & Lime Jam

Tomato Jam

Orange Tomato Jam

Sweet Potato Butter

Banana Butter

Blood Plum and Apple Jam with Rosewater

Honey Lemon Apple Jam

Cranberry Apple Jam

Cranberry & Jalapeno Jam

If you can’t tell, I have a major crush on rhubarb and on blueberries. Better get picking this spring and summer! I’ve been working so hard on the yard the last month, I will probably give myself this weekend off and then jump into some rhubarb preserves. I’ll have my list of pickling intentions coming up soon.