Today was the first day I've had all year to go to the farmer's market and reap a sweet sticky red reward. So after Teagan's nap, Alex put Gus in his crate and we put on shoes, buckled up and headed out to the farmer's market. Alex loves strawberries and he loves begging strawberries off all the farmers, and they love giving him as many as he wants. After an hour of stall surfing, we loaded up the van with 12 quarts of jam ready strawberries, 2 quarts of eating strawberries, several pounds of sweet potatoes, two sweet onions, and four HUGE tomatoes. So all afternoon and evening, I've cleaned, cut, mashed, stirred and finally the reward: 13 quarts of strawberry jam. 10+ hours of work. I'm exhausted. Good thing tomorrow is park day and the kids can wear themselves out and I can socialize with the other moms, or at least that is the plan.
I finally worked up the nerve to use my steam canner to make some Peach Jam. I've been petrified by the thought. I've always helped my Mother make jam. But she always made the freezer jam. So since Joseph and I've been married I've made freezer jam. But I wasn't very happy with the taste of the freezer peach jam. So after we talked it over with Joseph's Mom, Denese, we decided to buy a steam canner. I chickened out of using it with the strawberries. But I worked up the nerve last night to make cooked peach jam. It wasn't bad at all. The steam canner was great. I just need a bigger stove top room. The hood sits too low to easily work the steam canner. I burnt myself a few times on the steam. I can't wait to put up peaches. And maybe tomatoes too.
Eventually I want to get a pressure or bath canner so that I can put up more than just a few fruits and veggies. But this is a yummy start.