Sunday, August 1, 2010

Raspberry and Apricot Jam and a Huge Spider!

I'm embarrassed to say I have never canned anything until last week. Feeling like country folk fakers, Glenn and I finally decided to break out the canning equipment his mother had given us when we moved to the sticks. For years Glenn and I have talked out canning pickles, tomatoes and other goods from the garden. We never seem to have enough of a surplus to actually can, so the jars have been collecting dust in the barn. We decided to start with jam because that seemed like a simple canning experiment.

Last Saturday, we had a long day of picking. First we picked apricots at our local university, then we headed to the coast to pick organic raspberries. After nearly two hours of raspberry picking, we were all ready to collapse. I estimated that our raspberry jam would cost us about ten dollars a jar at that point if we considered paying ourselves a decent wage.

Canning the jam was fairly simple. Each batch took about an hour to make and an hour to clean up. When the jam cooled in the jars, we were excited to hear the popping sounds of the canning lids. Oliver's favorite part was sampling the fruit throughout the picking and canning process. I love looking at the finished jars, knowing we will have delicious homemade jam for at least the next six months!

We found this cute little guy in one of the canning jars. He nearly stopped my heart when I saw him. We let him go outside and are praying he finds a home far away from the house.


  1. Looks great guys! The apricot and raspberry jars look so pretty together! The popping is definitely the most satisfying part (or petrifying if it doesn't pop right away....). Hope I have a chance to sample the jam before it's all gone!

  2. Oh what loveliness adorns the shelves eh?
    At first when I read your words about letting the cute little guy go outside and letting him find a home far away I thought you were talking about your little helper! Gasp! LOL...then I looked down? Lord, have I a need for another cuppa or what? I must not be awake yet. Anywho...those nasty little spideys bite! Glad you spotted him and turned his butt out!
    Think of me when eating your berry jam...tis one of my faves!
    Many blessings...

  3. Erin, you can sample them both when you come! The pops took a little bit and it was nerve wrecking.

    Thanks Akasa. :)

  4. congratulations on a job well done, a chip off the old block. Glad the canning equipment is getting some use. Yes waiting for the pop to happen does make one a little nervous, but it puts a smile on your face when they are all accounted for. My mom use to put paraffin on the top of the canned jelly, don't know why , I never did use it. Hope we get to taste in Sept. Love mom

  5. What lovely jam! It makes me wish for a big slice of homemade bread and butter.

  6. Hello! Here is the link to my new blog - thank you for being a follower and for your support!

    I am so happy I saw this post... the photos are so beautiful. We just started canning ourselves this summer and I can't believe I didn't do it sooner.

  7. You guys are so cool, inspirational really. The next to last photo with Oliver bursting with happiness in the background is just so ... Oliver!


  8. Oh, boy, I wish I could have been there raspberry picking - they are my favorites and I can't seem to get them here. I don't understand it because blackberries grow wild in the woods and I always thought they were cousins to the raspberries - but, maybe not! How delish and look at you, Jess!!!! Your belly is so big now. I've not seen you for a while. When is your baby due? Do you know what sex it is or do you want to be surprised? If you told us before, please forgive absentminded old woman.

  9. p.s. that spider looks kind of scary...that pattern on his body looks like another spider...doesn't it?