Delicious Jams and Jellies

Fruit is on sale.
I repeat.
Fruit. Is on SALE.
Our parents spent time every summer we can remember, from our childhood years, canning fruit and making jam.  We had a large garden and rhubarb that will probably live through the apocalypse.  I remember Dad coming home with flats upon flats of peaches and pears, strawberries, and cherries.  My grandparents have a grape vine that has taken over half of their yard.  We help them pick those delicious gems every year.  Crab apples were also a prominent feature of the season.  Apples of all kinds.

Basically, we spent the whole summer getting excited about fruit of some kind.
So even though neither my sister nor I have much of a garden, and no way to pick fruit, when we walk into a store and see that fruit is on sale???  Well……  We buy a ton of it.  A box at least. Like, one of those large boxes that the store receives them in.
Grapes and peaches were the fruit that grabbed us, pulled us in, and made us love them this past month.  One of my sisters friends actually picked a bunch of grapes and gifted them to us, and we just had to do something with them!  And then it turned out really well, so we went and bought more. Cuz they went on sale.
I’m telling you. Fruit on sale is irresistible.
We blanched the peaches, and some of them got sliced and put in the freezer. We’ve been using them for our morning smoothies pretty much every day.
But most of them? JAM.
Peach jam is my absolute favourite.
We tried both the gel and the powder pectin, both worked great.  Just make sure you read the instructions, because one you add at the beginning, before the sugar, and the other you add at the end, after the sugar.
Friendly warning after a month of whole30 recipes, jam is not in the least whole30 compliant. There is sugar in it. Jelly too.  If you want some without sugar, you have to use a different kind of pectin to make it thick – so make sure you know what you want!
We love jam on our toast in the morning, or as a sweetener for our smoothies, or on our rice krispies…. so we used sugar, and the regular pectin.
To make jam, you need fruit, sugar, pectin, jars with lids and rings, a few large pots, and a big big canning pot (probably with a rack, and jar tongs are insanely handy).
The ratio of water, sugar, fruit, and pectin, depends on the fruit and the type of pectin. Each box or jar of pectin comes with it’s own instructions, so make sure you follow them!
We used powder with the peach jam, and gel with the grape jelly. All of it jelled up nicely and each was quite straight forward to use.  You need a whole day for a good sized batch though!  It’s a lot of boiling and processing, and once you get going, you can’t let it sit idle so make sure you have the time all at once!
I won’t give a recipe, because it’s in the box of pectin, but I will say that making your own jam is amazingly fun, and totally worth it. We did up a bunch of 1/4 pint jars and have been using them as gifts.  Everyone loves them.
Our sister-in-law also loves making freezer jam, because she doesn’t have the canning pot to do the water bath for a nice seal on the jars.
There are so many tips and tricks for canning – it can seem a bit overwhelming. Try a small batch first and just follow the basic instructions, and trust me – you’ll get the hang of it!
So go ahead. MAKE THAT JELLY!
Because the taste of accomplishment? Makes it all the sweeter.