Little Rock Momma meets Little House on the Praire

Desperate to hold on to the sweet tastes of summer that are about to pass by, I decided last week to face a life long cooking fear: canning.  For me, canning has always been this tightrope act and if I goof in the slightest I’ll poison anyone who eats my food.  It was a little intimidating.  But I decided last week that my fear of not tasting a sweet summertime peach for another year was greater than my fear of making my whole family sick.  I did some research and found that jams are the best place to start for beginners.  I found a great recipe for Peach Vanilla Bean Jam that looked easy enough.  So I began…

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I gathered my supplies…
I decided to make 3 pints instead of the 6 the recipe calls for so I halved everything.  I ended up buying too many peaches and only realized this after I had scalded them all in boiling water.  Quite a few had to go in the trash.

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Once I added the vanilla bean to my peach mixture, my kitchen smelled incredible.  Its a shame vanilla beans are so expensive, otherwise I’d cook with them all the time.

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Using a large funnel that my dad was kind enough to run out and buy for me, I filled 3 jars.  I realized after I’d bought the jars that they were a purple color.  I was really disappointed to not have a clear jar so that pretty peach color can display but I’ll get over it.

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This is where I started to panic a little bit.  Did I seal the jars properly?  Am I boiling them for long enough? Is that lemon seed I accidentally let slip in going to ruin the whole batch?

Oh, during the middle of this process, I decided I had to have fresh baked bread to spread this jam on.  So I put the dough hook on my Kitchen Aid mixer and got going on that.

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Once you’ve boiled all your jars they have to cool for several hours to get a good seal and for the jam to get good and set.  So this was my breakfast the next morning: peach jam and cream cheese spread on toast.  All and all it was pretty delicious.  The jam is a bit more liquid than I would like so I’m researching how to fix that next time.  I gave a jar to my parents and grandmother and have not heard about any trips to the hospital.  Caleb has yet to eat any.  Could be because he is on a diet or he has no faith in me.

Next up for me is this tomato sauce recipe for a margarita pizza I’ll be making this week.

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