Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Jam Swap

Jam Swap

Hello everyone, Ian here!
Do you like jam? I like jam, alot. Unfortunately the most common kinds involve strawberries, and as I am allergic to them, I am usually scared to eat any red jams haha. So when Aimee from Under the High Chair extended an invitation to Christie and I to attend and participate in her annual Jam Swap event, we were, to say the least, very excited. The requirements were simple enough, make Jam, bring said jam, and exchange said jam with others at a fun get together. Sounds simple enough? Yes, though quite quickly afterwards, Christie and I realized that neither of us had ever made any jam.

Our first idea was to make batches of Christies homemade chocolate & hazelnut spread, though we realized that the sterilization and jarring process was going to be 50% of the challenge of making a jam. After a nice weekend visit to the Atwater market that weekend, we decided to change the original plan once we laid our eyes on some local cranberries. Neither of us had any idea that cranberries were produced locally, and were quite happy to discover that there were abundant amounts apparently. Christie and I have been doing our best to select as many locally grown/produced food products as possible, thus using local cranberries made far more sense to us than imported chocolate and hazelnuts.

Cranberries chosen, Christie and I settled on her classic Cranberry and Port sauce, which, although technically not a jam, was acceptable as the Jams were varied from classic fruit jams, to delicious salsas, mmmmmmmmm (can you tell that I loved the salsa?). Making the sauce itself was alot of fun, as we had never made that much of it before. The jarring process seemed intimidating at first, and our first test attempt failed, though we quickly realized that this was due to a small amount of sauce being found on the rim of the jar when we screwed the lid on before the boiling process. Once we had found that out, each batch went swimmingly.

Needless to say, the jam swap went really well, there were so many absolutely delicious creations there, with my favorite easily being one of Aimee's amazing pumpkin preserves. If you ever have the chance to try this, jump on it, you wont regret it. Christie made sure to get me some, and I am hoarding the stuff.

On a side note, please take a moment to visit Aimee's wonderful website (link at the bottom of this posting), you really wont regret it.

Thank you very much again from Christie and I to you and your family Aimee for the wonderful hospitality! Hope everyone enjoys the photos as much as we all had fun at this event.

Ian

Jam Swap

Jam Swap

Jam Swap

Jam Swap

Jam Swap

Jam Swap

Jam Swap

Jam Swap

Jam Swap

Jam Swap

Jam Swap

Jam Swap

Jam Swap

Under the Highchair

9 comments:

♥peachkins♥ said...

Thoe are nice jams you got there!

Aimée said...

Superb recap, Ian. Thanks so much for capturing the event - including a 'mommy & me' moment with Noah & I...so sweet!

It was such a pleasure to have you and Christie attend; I'm so impressed how you guys pulled of home canning like pros.

We're LOVing the cranberry sauce; glad your a fan of my pumpkin butter....

Thank again.

Valérie said...

Wow, that is a lot of jam! I like jam, but not particularly strawberry, even though I'm no allergic - raspberry and apricot are the way to go as far as I'm concerned! And I've made it, but never in big batches, so I've never tried to sterilize the jars. Good for you for going all the way!

I recently discovered an Iranian café on Laurier, called Byblos, where the owner makes and sells her own jams, with flavours such as orange blossom, or pistachio-rose. They're more of a syrup than a spread, but they are to die for!

Pat Steer (Gaelen) said...

Ian, I hope your first 'jam swap' showed you both that making jam (and salsa, and pickles, and even mustard) is only intimidating the first time.
BTW, no need to be afraid of 'red' jams. Although I did make a strawberry balsamic jam this year, I also made Watermelon Jam, Red Plum Jam, and a couple varieties of cranberry jam (including the one I'm taking to dinner today - Cranberry-Orange Jam with ginger.)
Here's to many good jamming experiences ahead!

A. said...

Ian - Made me smile to see that you liked the "chipotle salsa" - Isn't it amazing? I made it last year for Aimee's jam swap and after my flopped attempt to make jam this year (you can read about that over at www.okwithandrea.blogspot.com) I decided to go with a tried, tested and true recipe. I kept several jars for myself and we're almost out already!!!
Great pics by the way. You're a real artist with that camera of yours!
A.

Hilary said...

Gorgeous photos! Do you have like 20 jars of jam in your pantry now?

I'm pretty sure Quebec is one of the largest cranberry-producing regions of the world, actually.

Georgia said...

Wow, this sounds so so so awesome! I want to go to a jam swap! Sounds like you guys had a ball!!!

Bellini Valli said...

Jam as far as the eye can see...and enough flavours to have variety for a while.

Junglefrog said...

Great capture of the event Ian! Love the photos!! You're becoming quite the expert. I've only made jam once sofar and that was this summer but I was amazed at how easy it is really.