Thursday, July 14, 2011

Summer Jamming

During the last week in June, the cherry farms closest to Los Angeles, up in Leona Valley, sent notices that the fruit was ready to harvest and it would probably be the last week to pick-your-own. I had gone last year with friends and had learned how to make jam for the first time. I was determined to make even more this year for holiday gifts. Oh, how I love to think about Christmas in July!

Because I work from home and can flex my hours, I went on a Tuesday morning...all by myself. I think I looked a little funny going cherry-picking alone. Most people bring kids or parents or someone with them as a fun outing. I, however, was there on a mission.

An hour and fifteen pounds of cherries later, my mission was half accomplished. I drove home (1.5 hrs), gathered up jars and pectin during the week, and anticipated the arrival of my helper - my mother-in-law!

Mom arrived on Friday night and we spent all of Saturday morning de-stemming, pitting, and chopping cherries.

 It's the pits! And the cherry-pitter on the left.

We kept about 10 lbs for jam and it yielded 22-8oz jars. 18 were made with regular sugar, 4 were made with Splenda sugar blend. The Splenda jam set really well compared to the sugar-filled jam, but it all still tasted good.

Lemon zest and juice to add to the cherries, sugar and pectin.
Two batches: one with sugar, the other with Splenda Sugar Blend
Boiling the filled jars to seal the lids.
Keeping the lids and seals in hot water.
Waiting for the jars to cool and seal.
Mission accomplished! Rhett approves. :o)
Canning is such a simple, fun way to make seasonal fruits and veggies last all year. And, they make excellent homemade gifts. And,'s a great activity to enjoy with friends, kids, or mothers-in law! Thanks, Mom!

1 comment:

  1. I'm glad you were able to go after all! Man I should have had Jerry borrow your cherry pitter last year. He had to use a paring knife, I think it took him all afternoon haha.