As Promised

Last we spoke, I said I would make sure to share recipes with you when I decided if I was happy them.  I’m kind of picky; I want it to be pretty and I want it to taste great.  I decided I was ready to at least share a jam recipe when my hubby mentioned one night he had eaten a jar of the carrot cake jam pretty much just with a spoon.  There might have been a slice of bread involved, but I didn’t ask for details.  That was all the seal of approval I needed.  I spent two days canning a few different things, which was the end of a bunch of produce that needed to be processed.  We had tomatoes from mom and dad’s garden.  They are in the part of the year where tomatoes and all things tomato related are bad, no good, stupid freaking, why did you pick those, again with the tomatoes???  That is to say, we have seen a lot of tomatoes.  Next year when they plant their garden, and we plant ours, we will miraculously forget how worn out with canning tomatoes we become and we will plant a ton.  We also had jalapenos a friend of mine brought to me at work.  The Hubs loves spicy stuff, peppers especially and was ecstatic to see me walk in with a bag of peppers that day.  Oh, salsa!  The salsa recipe is his, and by his, I mean he created it, and, well, by recipe I mean he starts cooking, adds spices, tomatoes, peppers, onions, whatever he thinks will work, and cooks and tastes things, and maybe a dash of this, or hmmmm…… I think this needs just a pinch of that.  And voila!!  We have salsa.  He is a chef, he just makes food.  There is no recipe and it probably won’t be the same the next time.  But it will be excellent every time.

The jam is carrot cake jam and it used up a bunch of pears.  I got the recipe from my friend Angela, who also gave me the pears.  I have that recipe, which is from a book, and I don’t know which one, so I apologize ahead of time if I am stealing your jam recipe.  It’s just so delicious, I wanted to share.  If this recipe does belong to you, leave me a message and I will make sure I give credit.  In proper APA format.  Because I’m a nurse.  Can’t help it.

Anyway, so here is the carrot cake jam recipe:

1 1/2 cups grated carrots

1 1/2 cups pears, I peeled and chopped mine as small as possible

1 3/4 cups pineapple and juice

3 Tablespoons lemon juice

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 package fruit pectin (powdered)

6 1/2 cups sugar (don’t skimp on the sugar, it helps the jam set up)

  1. I used a water bath canner, so get some water in it, get your sterilized jars warming up and get those lids prepped.  If you are not familiar with this process there are instructions with the pectin usually.  Also with the lids or jars.
  2. In a large stainless steel pot, combine carrots, pears, pineapple and juice, lemon juice, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves.  Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring frequently.  Reduce heat, cover and boil gently for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Remove from heat and whisk in pectin until dissolved.  Return to heat, and bring to a boil over high heat, stirring frequently.  Add sugar all at once and return to a full rolling boil, stirring constantly.  Boil hard for about 1 minute.  At this point, the first time I did this, I was freaking out, because it says to boil for a minute, and frankly, I had no juice to boil.  No worries, the sugar makes a sauce, it boils.  Remove from heat and skim foam off the top.
  3. Ladle into hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace.  Remove air bubbles.  Wipe the rims clean, put on your lids and screw on bands.
  4. Place jars in canner, completely covered (by about 2 inches) with water.  Bring to a boil.  Process for 10 minutes covered.
  5. Turn off heat, remove canner lid and allow to cool for a few minutes.  Cool for about 24 hours before storing.

Just to let you know, I am not guaranteeing these canning methods are safe, nor do I guarantee you won’t get botulism.  Make sure you follow all guidelines for canning safely and if you have any questions or concerns about the quality of the end product, don’t taste it, throw it out!  There are also numerous canning websites and resources on the internet.  They can offer you a guide as well.  But I’m not a professional, so I am not responsible for your canning methods or mishaps.

That being said, I need to brag, so here are some pictures of our hard work.

CanningDay Jars! Salsa


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