Sunday, October 23, 2011

I Be Jammin'

Now that the gardening season is winding down & the rains have returned, I finally have time to haul out my jam/jelly making equipment & start brewing up some treats for the winter.

I started the day with whipping up a few batches of 'specialty' jellies.

Spiced Pear Jelly (on the left) - I had already rendered the pears with some star anise, cardamom & fresh ginger & froze the juice til I was ready. A great colour & spectacular flavour. It took about 24 hours for it to set fully.

Rosehip Jelly (on the right) - this one is always hit or miss with me. I'm still waiting for the jelly to set up & I really don't understand why it's taking so long. I picked the hips earlier this year so they would have lots of natural pectin & made sure that I didn't put too much water in the pot when I rendered them to juice. A great tangy flavour & I have a waiting list of people who want the jelly - if it will ever jell... I use the syrup on pancakes & in marinades for pork dishes, but most people aren't that adventurous... Have got my fingers crossed!

Next on the list are a couple of different flavours that I hope people will appreciate.

Raspberry-rhubarb and blackberry-rhubarb. I had a great rhubarb harvest this year & came across many references that a raspberry-rhubarb combo is considered better than the more traditional strawberry-rhubarb blend. So I thought I would try that this year as I don't grow my own strawberries.

It's actually really nice! Since I've not got a very large sweet tooth (I prefer tangy & tart jams/jellies) this mix of sweet raspberry & tart rhubarb is just what I was looking for & hoping for.

The blackberry-rhubarb blend is also very nice - I'm tempted to see how much is left in the freezer & just make the rest into wine.

So this is the start of my 'crafty days' leading up to the Christmas Craft Fair at the end of November. I'm going to have to dig through the berry freezer to see what else I have in there & make a few more batches of jam & jelly before turning the rest of it into a few varieties of wine.

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