Sunday, July 19, 2009

Jam Making

Here is Holly and I starting to make raspberry jam yesterday (see raspberry picking in last blog entry). We met at her house, and our friend Laurie Sverdlove joined us. She took the first three pictures in this sequence.

Bhakti and Holly beginning jam making

We used Pomona's Pectin and basically followed the recipe in the box. The suggested amount of sugar was a variable, with 2 cups per batch as maximum, and we decided to half that. Since we had 4 batches we used 2 cups of sugar, but at the end we concluded that could be cut in half again, next time.

Berries cooking

We also referenced the book I bought the previous day, Preserving the Harvest by by Carol Costenbader. She has excellent drawings and clear descriptions about the canning process. Since we were novice jam makers, we referred to her book at each step.

Holly listening as I read from Preserving the Harvest

Between my canning pot, and Holly's pots, we had everything we need, and more. I had bought a new thermometer thinking we would need it, but in the end we just watched and timed.

Jars, lids and jam on stove

Laurie tasting for sweetness, Holly waiting her verdict

Jars filled with jam, ready for covers and boiling in jars

Finished jars of raspberry jam

The final jam looks great. Amazingly we had exactly enough for the 12 jars we had purchased, with just a tiny bit left over which we will all share tonight with ice cream. Our three families are getting together for a casual pot luck (I can't stop raving about how lucky we were to move to Randolph and meet these wonderful people), and besides sharing the jam, we are going to tell each other stories from our past. As Laurie said, we didn't grow up together, so we each have long and interesting lives to share with each other. I don't think we can do this chronologically, each person will need a week, but perhaps story by story we will get glimpses into each other that is not obvious on the surface, but has gone into making us who we are.

My co-author of The Woven Pixel, Alice Schlein was interviewed by Syne Mitchell for her podcast, and you might want to listen. I appreciate that Syne corrected a comment made on her last podcast that implied Alice wrote the book herself. We really were co-authors, without one person leading and the other following, though of course there were areas where this happened--but on the whole, we were absolutely equal partners in this venture. Each of us devoted two years of our lives to writing the book--and though Photoshop has come out with two new versions since publication, the book is still valid and, I believe, invaluable. I also think it is rare for two people to work on a long-term project together without some negative residue--but in this case Alice and I just became better and better friends, with great admiration for each other. She is currently finishing work on her latest book about Photoshop and Dobby Looms, and as soon as it is published, I will post more information.

1 comment:

  1. Hey Bhakti and Holly, thanks for coming to our berry farm and congrats on making great looking raspberry jam! You have a really nice blog.

    Rob & Patricia,