"We are more alike, my friends, than we are unalike." ~Maya Angelou

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Sand Plum Jelly and Jam

Yesterday was Sand Plum Jelly Day! Dad and my sister, Ann, had gone out to the sandy back roads near the Cimarron River and picked several buckets full of rosy Sand Plums the evening before. I was not a participant in this part of the adventure and, therefore, I did not earn my Chigger Badge as they did. Sad face. When I arrived at Dad's house they already had the plums sorted and ready for canning.

After washing and setting them, with some water, in a pan on the fire to simmer, we gathered our jars, sterilizing water, utensils, paper towels, flats and rings, measured the sugar (! wow!) and got out the Big Yellow Bowl and a thin, thin towel for the draining (we didn't have any cheesecloth). They simmered and we had the last of Uncle David's birthday angel food cake....(so we would have the energy to make it through the entire jelly making procedure..you understand)

Ann, loving the cake!!
When the plums had simmered for ten minutes we ladled them into the cloth and gathered it up to drain out the juices. No squeezing! We were going for clear as a bell jelly. NO CONTAMINATES.
Once we had most of the juice out we returned it to the pot and added the Sure-Jell (pectin); brought that to a boil and let it boil for a minute; added the sugar and brought it back to a rolling boil (stir, stir, stirring) and let it boil for one full minute; turned off the fire and skimmed off the foam. (The exact amounts for the recipe are inside the Sure-Jell package).
Meanwhile, someone was mashing the seeds and pulp through a colander so we would be able to make jam later in the day. This is a slow, tedious process but well worth the trouble.
We then poured the hot jelly into the sterilized jars, wiped the rim of the jar with hot water and placed the flats and rings for sealing. One good strong twist and we were finished. TA DA! Just take a gander at these red jeweled beauties. What a grand time we had, all three of us working together in Mom's kitchen! Of course, it would have been better if she had been there supervising and laughing along, but she was there with us in Spirit, as always. We made four batches of jelly and one batch of jam. Today we tackled the wild blackberries hiding on vines armed with killer thorns....but that is another tale to tell.

No comments: