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Cynical Optimism

expecting the worst and being optimistic about it

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Jam! and The Cuteness
switchfoot
switchfan
Whenever summer rolls around, with it's abundance of fruit, I always have grand, ethereal schemes to pick tons of said fruit, and turn it into enough jam to last me all year (and give as gifts).  Of course, most of the time, said grand schemes turn into eaten fruit, rotted fruit (which I DID pick, but then never did anything with, except eventually throw it in the trash), or absolutely nothing at all.

But, this morning, I actually did it! All by myself, and with a very cranky 18M old who had decided I wasn't pay enough attention to him (when he wasn't being distracted by Blues Clues).



What makes it so much cooler (to me), is that the blackberries had been sitting in the fridge for 10 days at this point, and had matured.... past the point of ripeness.  In fact, they smelled like they were trying to decide between heading towards wine, or skipping that altogether and going straight to vinegar.  Naturally, I was very disappointed in myself, since I had BOUGHT new lids+rims and pectin JUST for this batch that I'd spent 2 hours picking. Boo.  

So I fled to my trusty internets, which rarely lets me down, and found this forum post by a lady who had the same problem: can fermented fruit still be turned into yummy jam? Turns out, it can!  All I did was boil the fruit (before adding the pectin) until it smelled like fruit again, instead of wannabe wine.  Took 5-10 minutes. THEN I continued on with the "add pectin, add sugar, bring to a rolling boil for 1 full minute, etc..." steps. I also had to close one eye, and squint past the very STERN and DIRE warnings in the instructions on EXACT measuring (or not only will your jam be a completely worthless pile of wasted time and effort, but your life will be ruined, and bats may even move into your attic.... or something like that). Anyway, they made me very nervous.  But, I started out THINKING I had enough for a full batch, only come to find out that crushed berries fill a lot less cups than whole berries..... yes, seems elementary doesn't it? But, I measured the pectin out via ratios very carefully (the sugar was much easier), and then threw in a little extra for good measure (lumpy jam is better than runny jam).

AND IT WORKED!!! YAY!!  So, despite two strikes against me at the outset, I think I can claim a home run :D. But better, 'cause I have jam, and not just a point (baseball is boring, anyway, so jam is TONS better).

Also today, William discovered that he could sit in his large dump truck, and scoot himself around the living room.












also, I uploaded some videos to facebook, if you like to watch him.  If you don't care, that's ok.  You're just missing out on the CUTEST KID EVER!!!!  

just kidding. I'm not really that vain.