Devon’s Devilish Delights – I’m Back!

It truly has been a while since my last post.  For a very long while I lost my will to put my Soul into canning so I stopped.  Depression is an amazing motivator to do nothing and I can attest to that!

Now I am back.  I have been buying items for months and waiting for the day to finally happen.  As a friend pointed out the only things I have left from my canning projects are picked Okra!  MMM I am saving them for a good martini!

So today I will start up again and get back into the saddle.  I have a few items that I will be making including items with cranberries, blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, figs, and raspberries.

So let it begin!

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Been Busy with Strawberries!

It has been a while since I have posted. I have been busy traveling and hiking but luckily did not miss strawberry season here in the Virginia area!

I made regular strawberry jam and vanilla strawberry jam. I think I will make later a ginger strawberry jam and a habanero strawberry jam!  

I use vanilla pods that I got on Anazon and they are amazing. I got the strawberries from Costco.  

                   

Sometimes the Jams Separate but Don’t Worry it is only Air – but when in doubt toss it out

I recently had a complaint from someone that said that a pear based jam that I made separated and that after they looked it up on the internet they realized it was botulism!  Ugh!  Is all I could think and I got pissed.  I think my only pet peeve when it comes to giving away jams and jellies is when people make off the cuff comments that are neither constructive nor polite.

I go through great lengths to make sure that the product that I produce are safe including following precautions for seal failure which means that I don’t give out the product for 2 weeks while I observe the products without the band ring to make sure that the seal is good.

With this said seal failures will occur and other odd things will happen especially if my instructions are not followed regarding storage.  These items will technically last years if kept in a cool, dry, dark space!  With this said separation does occur it is not the end of the world it just means that there was more air in the fruit and it rises to the top in the jam.  If this happens let me know.  I just means that I need to tweak my recipe and cut the fruit smaller or cook much longer.

Here is a link that discusses this if it happens to you.  http://foodinjars.com/2015/06/canning-101-how-to-prevent-jam-separation/#comments

Working with Tomatoes and Mangos

Friday and Saturday were busy for me since I was trying to use the rest of the mangos that a friend shipped to me from Florida.  I had already made a mango-tomato jam but had a lot of mangos left over.  I also wanted to get the tomato jams out of the way as well so I got some more tomatoes to complete that task.

I ended up making two different mango chutney’s and my standby tomato jam.  The first chutney I made was from Food in Jars and is called Heather Francis’ Festive Mango Chutney.  I did deviate from the recipe and added cardamom and not cardamom pods – because really who in the hell has cardamom pods lying around! You can find it at http://foodinjars.com/2015/01/guest-post-sailboat-canning-mango-chutney-heather-francis/.

The next chutney I made was from the Complete Book of Small-Batch Preserving on page 218 and I love this chutney although this time I used green peppers instead of read and added some chilli pepper flakes for color.

And finally I made tomato jam from Food in Jars which can be found at http://foodinjars.com/2010/09/tomato-jam/.  I love this jam because it can be used on sandwiches, cheese spreads, or crackers.

I still have a crap load of pears to make jam out of which I will do today.  I plan on making a pear ginger jam as well as a pear vanilla jam.  I will also try to get a strawberry vanilla jam made within the next two weeks.

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Getting the Items ready!

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Back in the Saddle – Tomato Mango Jam

Yesterday on Thursday I finally got around to using some of the mangos that a buddy shipped to me from Florida.  I decided to start with a spicy Tomato Mango Jam.  I absolutely love the color although the pictures did not do them justice!  This jam is great on sandwiches as a spread or with cheese and crackers.

A link to the recipe can be found at http://foodinjars.com/2013/03/tomato-mango-jam-breakfast-for-dinner-giveaway/

Enjoy!IMG_0949 IMG_0950 IMG_0951 IMG_0954