While most folks probably think of a Jam Session as a bunch of musicians gathered to make music, to two of my Sisters of Choice (SOCs) and myself, a Jam Session is a three-day weekend in which we make jams. Lots of jams! And marmalades and chutneys and jellies and butters and ketchups!
Throughout the summer we collect whatever fruit we can from our yards, the yards of friends—wherever we can get good fruit for little to no money. We then wash it, prep it, and freeze it. Sometime in the Fall, when the days are no longer in the 90s, and they can get time off from work and come across from Seattle to Kennewick, we have our Jam Session. Three days of madness and mayhem in my kitchen, which is perfect for the work.
We started early Friday morning, and finished about 8pm Sunday night. We did take time out for sleep (at least I think we did). On Friday, we had crock-pot Caribbean Stew, on Saturday we went out for Thai, and on Sunday, my friend, Sally, stopped by and made a fast food run for us. Nancy found a type of pectin that requires even less sugar than the low-sugar pectin we used to buy from the store. We tell everyone that once opened, they need to refrigerate the jar, and consume within a month!
Nancy is our official labeler and divider of the fruits of our labor. (She has the beautiful handwriting.) This year, just before we loaded their share into the car for the trip back to Seattle, Nancy gave us the Grand Total of jars we put up. We were all in shock, and have decided WE WILL NOT TRY TO EXCEED OR EVEN MEET this amount next year. In three days, we put up 461 jars of goodness!
I had the upright freezer pretty full when they arrived as you can tell by the pictures below and they brought fruit to fill the smaller freezer. We used everything but 20 qts of grapes, and as soon as I buy a juicer, I’ll juice the grapes and freeze the juice for next year. The smaller freezer now holds 4 packages of brown sugar for next year.
Guess what folks will be getting for Christmas Presents this year?????
This freezer contains 17 qts of cherries, 27 qts of apricots. 25 qts pf grapes, 4 qts of crab apples, and 1 qt each Asian pears and blackberries.
The small freezer contains all the plums, blackberries, boysenberries, blue berries and whatever else Lee and Nancy brought. I forgot the amounts.
The kitchen island as we began
460 jars of goodness (1 didn't seal, and it is in my refrigerator)
The large freezer when we finished (20 qts of grapes remain)
The small freezer with the brown sugar
And where does one store 153 jars of jam?