Thursday, July 5, 2012

Thursday's Kitchen Cupboard - July 5, 2012

It's the summer of jam.

I haven't been good about blogging about the jams and jellies I've been canning, but I've definitely been busy making them! So far this summer I've put up strawberry and peach jam, as well as basil and garlic scape jelly. I've made sweet jams for three years now, but this will be my first year attempting savory jellies. I see many cheese and cracker appetizers in my future, or maybe savory thumbprint cookies.


First, strawberry jam. I made a dozen half-pint jars, and basically used the recipe on the container of low/no-sugar pectin I purchased, with the exclusion of lemon juice (the Ball canning book didn't call for it, so I felt safe). I only used half a cup of sugar for every two cups of crushed berries, and this is by far the most delicious jam I've made yet. I only have eight jars left after sharing some of the deliciousness.

The crushed berries separated from the juice...but I can deal with that.


Next, I made peach jam. My mom tipped me off to a traveling truck that brings tree-ripened peaches from Georgia to the upper midwest. I had never worked with peaches before, and I'm glad my husband was kind enough to help me blanch, peel, and slice the peaches. We ended up with seven quarts of frozen peaches for pies or smoothies, and 10 jelly jars of jam. I don't think I've ever had peach jam before, but I must say - it's delicious. I wish I would have doubled the recipe so I'd have 10 half-pint jars.

This is what half a bushel of peaches looks like.

I used the recipe from the Ball canning book.

There were plenty of peaches left for fresh eating, and this delicious peach cobbler.


Next, I found myself with a glut of basil well before the tomatoes (or any other summer veggies) were ready to harvest. I decided to take a foray into the land of savory jams. I used a Taste of Home recipe, although because I was using low/no-sugar pectin, I only used two cups of sugar. Even then, this jam seems overly sweet. I got nine jelly jars (one went home with my parents). I haven't tried it since it set.

Garlic Scapes

Even though I've already harvested my garlic, I'd been saving the garlic scapes for a day when I had time to make the recipe I read a few weeks ago on Gardener of Eden. Again, I modified the recipe slightly. I used more garlic scapes (probably 1 1/2 cups) and only a cup of sugar with my low/no-sugar pectin. Time will tell what this tastes like with my modifications. I got nine jelly jars (again, one went home with my parents). 

With almost 100 heads of garlic, we were swimming in scapes this spring and I was desperate for something other than a stir fry.
Not the most beautiful color...

Not jam!

I did put up one non-jam item. Using Daphne's brine recipe, I made my first jar of refrigerator pickles for the season. My cucumbers are just now flowering, but I was able to pick up a hoop house-grown cucumber at the farmer's market last weekend. These are delicious, even though my dad says "they taste too much like cucumbers." I'll be making a lot more of this brine.

Jar gifts

A former co-worker sent me a message on Facebook a few weeks ago offering up some extra jars from her grandmother's house. I gladly accepted her offer. She dropped them off while I was at work on Tuesday, and to my surprise she left five boxes of half-pint, pint and quart jars. There must be well over 100 jars in the boxes, some new in the box, and all very high quality. Looks like I'll be able to put up anything that comes out of the garden - hoping for an increased variety of pickles (including squash, green beans and carrots) and hopefully some whole tomatoes. No pictures of the jars - I haven't actually gotten around to unpacking them.

Want more?

Join Robin over at the Gardener of Eden for more Thursday's Kitchen Cupboard posts.


  1. Boy you have been one busy bee! We like a lot of different types of jams and jellies around here. As you said they are great with cheese or in the middle of a nice cookie.

    I agree that the garlic scape jelly is not all that pretty.....but, it sure does taste great!

    Thanks for joining in!

    1. Thanks for visiting, Robin. I can't wait to try the garlic scape jam :)

  2. Wow, you have been very busy! Thanks so much for sharing! I enjoyed visiting your blog! Happy Canning and Happy Gardening! Mindy