Last night Blake and I made preserves for the first time. It was a lot easier than we thought... and we were totally not ready for it!
We decided to do this because we have a goal of preserving a lot more of the fresh produce this summer, and my parent's garden has been doing so well lately that we knew our first jam experiment was coming soon. Then we I got our sprouts ad this week and found that the fresh berries were on sale for a dollar a box, I decided that this week was the week to do it!
So we made a mixed berry preserves.
First we mushed all of the fruit together, 4 cups worth. Then we added the calcium water to that mix. Then once that got to boiling we added the pectin and the honey.
At this point we weren't sure what to do, because the recipe that I was following said boil until it passed one of the jam tests, and the package of pectin said that it just had to be brought to a boil, and it was ready... So we tried the first test, which was just taking the temperature of the food, but our food thermometer was not cooperating. Then we put a spoonful of it on a plate and put it in the freezer for a few minutes, and then took it out and checked if it would go back together once we used our finger to separate it. It stayed separate... so it was done! (Of course, by this time it has boiled probably way longer than it needed lol).
Two of the jars were then put into a water bath to seal them, and one of them was let cool on the counter and then went into the fridge so we could eat it the next day.
This morning I tried it, and it was SO good! Yum! I am so excited that we have 2 more jars in the cupboard for whenever we are ready, and I am also excited that it turned out to be so easy... we will definitely be making more this summer.
p.s. look at how pretty our home grown eggplant looked before we cooked them into our vegetable ragout!