Sunday, September 13, 2015

Jam!!

Getting settled in our new place has been so surreal. I still have moment where I'm struck by how strange it is that we actually live in Utah. Utah, of all places. I had no idea we would ever be here, let alone that we could love it so much. It's caught me off guard in every conceivable way. That said, as strange as it's been, we're actually getting settled. Our house is starting to look, little by little, like people actually live here.

While we're settling in, I've been bitten by the domestic bug. It's been an urge so powerful, I can't seem to ignore it. I'm admittedly not the most domestic person ever. I like to sew, but I sort of suck at it, and I hate to clean. So far, my domestic streak has extended to decorating and not much further. But a few weeks ago, on a whim I bought a canning magazine at the check-out line. Then, I bought a boiling water canner and some jars. This weekend, I bought fruit and actually turned it into jam!

I'm so thrilled with myself. Normally, I'd be skeptical, but it came out so good, I can't help but feel a sense of victory. I've done something thoroughly domestic and I've done it well. Go me! Of course, I suppose it's also a little bit sad that I feel so good about something so small. But, whatever.

Matt was working yesterday afternoon, so I braved my nerves about messing up like $30 worth of ingredients and jumped in. The result: this awesome peach bourbon jam. 

I was concerned that it wouldn't set up, or the jars wouldn't seal. Both things worked out beautifully. The jars sealed and the jam set. There was a bit left, I probably could have made another jar, so I put it into the fridge and we've had some today. Matt doesn't even like peach and he really likes it. He even asked me if I planned to give the jars away or if they were for us. He didn't want me to share. Score!

And, I had so much fun making it, that today while we were watching the first football game, I chopped up the plums that were in our fridge and made plum jam. One of Matt's employees brought him a bag full of asian pears and plums from her trees, so I used the plums.

It tastes good, but I'm skeptical about whether or not it'll set up as well as the peach. No pectin in the plum jam, which only made 3 jars, whereas the peach made 7+. I hope it's good. It has a beautiful, rich purple color. Fingers crossed it turns out okay, otherwise it'll be closer to a chunky plum syrup than it will jam. If it doesn't turn out right, well, chalk it up to a learning experience. 

One night this week, I'm planning to start the watermelon pickles I'll be making--they take two days because they have to sit in pickling salt and water overnight. Matt's been keeping the rinds for me. I hope they turn out awesome... or at least that Matt thinks they're awesome. I don't like anything that's been pickled. 

Other than making jam, I've been decorating and getting settled. Oh, and I've been working. I got a 8:30am to 5:00pm, full-time, outside-the-house job. I'll probably be sharing pics of the house, now that we've had time to get things settled, in the near future, and my parents, aunt, and Candi are coming to visit next week. So excited!