So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up. Galatians 6:9

Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished! Luke 1:45

Monday, June 28, 2010

Monday's Menu

If you have a bread machine, there may be one setting you've been wondering about as much as I have. That's the "Jam" setting.

Canning and preserving food is something I've always considered but I never have had the produce to start it or a strong enough desire to finish it. I like the idea of knowing how but, since I live in a suburb and can count my vegetable plants on my fingers, I doubt I'd get to use it much. I think though that it is one of those skills that you can grow into.

It's a good idea to cultivate skills that you can grow into. When I began making bread, I didn't expect to use it much but I liked the idea of knowing how so I could use it when I wanted to. As I got more comfortable with it, I used that knowledge quite a bit and even was able to expand it to other things (like pizza crusts, rolls, even tortillas). As my comfort level increased, it became second nature to make those things and I didn't think anything of mixing up something that caused some of my friends to look at me as if I were from foreign planet. Especially when I told them, "Oh, it's easy. You should try."

That's where I'm at with canning and preserving. It's something I'd like to know how to do so I could if I wanted to. Jams and jellies are usually the place you start with that. However, I don't like jam and I am about the only one in the house who ever eats jelly. And usually it's grape. And (here's another weirdo quirk of mine) then I pretty much only like it on my scrambled eggs. Which I rarely eat anyway. By the way, I've always been that way. I can remember going to McDonald's for breakfast as an adolescent and eating grape jelly with the egg from my biscuit. That's just the way I like it.

So, all that was to say, that if I want to try canning, I'm going to go straight to the hard stuff because jam and jelly are kind of useless in my house. However...

I have been curious about that button on my bread machine. So I decided to give it a go. And guess what, it worked. The jelly I made isn't sealed but rather has to go right into the fridge but that's okay because I can just make what I need as I need it. I really like the idea that I don't have to rely on running to the supermarket to get those kinds of things. Which is probably where a lot of these skills have come from to begin with. But I digress.

You also apparently have to use low or no sugar pectin which I think is key to it working. I would imagine this is because of the fact that it makes a single (large) jar rather than multiple ones like you would make if home canning. Also, the jelly stayed liquid after it cooled until I had put it into the fridge so it wouldn't be suitable for dry storage. The recipe below can use either fresh fruit to make jam or 100 percent juice to make jelly in your machine. If you have a bread machine, I highly recommend you give this a try at least once. I had a definite sense of self-satisfaction when I saw my jelly sitting in the fridge.

Bread Machine Jam/Jelly

For jam, use 1 lb. fresh fruit, washed and diced
For jelly, use 3 cups fruit juice

1 (1 oz.) box low/no sugar pectin
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1 cup sugar

Place ingredients in bread machine pan (with kneading paddle in place). Select 'jam' cycle. Start machine. When cycle is complete, pour into jar(s), cool completely, and store in refrigerator.

1 comment:

Amanda said...

Okay, several comments:

1. I like jelly on my eggs. But only on fried eggs, preferably in a breakfast sandwich. I fry the eggs until the york is mostly solid. Put the egg on toast, with grape jelly and a slice of cheese. Add bacon if you have it. And a glass of chocolate milk. Yum.

2. I agree with you about the desire to learn new skills. God had just started giving me the desire to learn new skills when you and I met, which is probably why I like your blog so much. Making homemade pizza, rolls, detergent, diaper rash cream, bug bite medicine, are important skills. The more that I can serve my family, the less we are dependent upon the stores (and their ever fluctuating prices).

3. I might have to make homemade jelly. I'm allergic to high fructose corn syrup (I know, like my family needs more allergies) and it can get expensive to buy the types of jams/jellies that I prefer to feed my family. This could be a great solution for us. Especially since Hannah is always asking for exotic flavors of jam. Naturally sweetened raspberry seedless jam is not cheap, especially for how quickly it gets eaten around here!