Sunday, October 12, 2008

Cannin' and Jammin'

(Bad title! It's all I got)

I spent yesterday down on the rez canning.
I made spiced crab apples and some golden plum jam.
The apples are pretty. Only a few have the skins split so far. Probably more will go before I eat them. I have no idea how they taste and I'm supposed to wait a month or two before I try them.

I swore last year I'd never do the golden plums again....but the trees were LOADED to the point the branches were about to break. It took me about 20minutes to pick 5pounds or more (plenty for jammin'). I forced them through a cherry pitter this year rather than shaving the pulp off the pits. It wasted more pulp...and I think it killed the pitter. But it was faster.
The jam is GORGEOUS. Bright orange. And SOUR!!
I used it in the breakfast bars with double the usual apple sauce and only a little sweetener. They turned out delicious

I took a jar of each (along with some apples I picked on the rez too) to a friend. She handed ME a jar of golden plum preserves. Must have been the weekend for those plums. They are large cherries. And definitely NOT freestone. I'm going to clean up some of the pits and plant them. The trees are clearly hardy. The freestone purple plums (huge and easy to pick and process) were devoid of fruit this year. As were some of the apple trees.
I'm definitely learning which trees are the hardiest by picking the free fruit around the rez. Those cherry trees are still doing well. I'm going to plant pits again this year. BUT I'm also going to mark the plantings better and maybe protect with rebar so the kids who mow the lawn won't kill them (but they probably will kill them).

The raspberries in the backyard, that have spread over from the neighbor's patch, did quite well again this summer. Enough to eat, but not to can or jam. One of these years. Especially if I move the landlord's junk pile which is blocking the spread of the berries and is in the best gardening spot in the yard. But the odds of me moving that junk pile is zero.

It is nice to know I'll have 2 kinds of jam to get me through to next summer (huckleberry and plum). I didn't want to buy fruit to can/jam this year so my variety is more limited. I still have some from last year to finish up.

I'll let you know how the spiced crab apples turn out. They look pretty and I left the spices in the jars so I'm thinking they will be a bit overly spiced.

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