So guess what, peeps? I have some brag-worthy news for you. Two things: A) I made some muy delicioso strawberry-peach jam. And B) My child now sleeps through the night.
Did you read that? Through the night. As in, eight consecutive hours of peace for the whole family. Thank you, thank you, sleep training gods. It was nine days of sleep-deprived-hallucinatory-constant-verge-of-tears-guilt-ridden torture but alas, it was worth it. Daytime naps are a cinch and I even feel confident that I can leave for a moms' night out. The faint sweet smell of my old life is in the air and mmmm, it's intoxicating.
They aren't the best photos and the process was also not the best documented of all time but take my word for it: capitalize on the summer now and get jamming. Hit the Farmers Market and find the best deal—negotiating towards closing time works wonders. Then grab your supplies, an apron, turn off the phone and the music on, and get working. Neighbors and Christmas-gift-receivers alike will be so thankful you did.
Strawberry-Peach JamAdapted from Sure Jell Pectin Package
(I multiplied the below recipe (which yields 5 cups) 6x to make 24 jars. I used about 20 ripe peaches and one 16-oz. basket of strawberries. You can adjust as you wish.)
4 1/2 cups prepared fruit (chopped peaches, hulled/sliced/crushed strawberries)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3 cups sugar
1 package Sure Jell pectin
1/2 teaspoon butter or margarine (optional)
1. Bring large, half-full pot of boiling water to simmer.
2. Wash jars and screw bands in hot, soapy water; rinse with warm water. Pour boiling water over flat lids in saucepan off the heat. Let stand in hot water until ready to use. Drain well before filling.
3. Prepare fruit. Pit and chop peaches. Hull, slice and crush strawberries.
4. Measure exact amount of prepared fruit into 6 or 8 quart saucepot. Stir in lemon juice.
5. Measure exact amount of sugar into separate bowl. Mix 1/4 cup sugar from measured amount and 1 box Sure Jell pectin in small bowl. Stir pectin sugar mixture into fruit in saucepot.
6. Bring mixture to full rolling boil on high heat, stirring constantly. Add 1/2 teaspoon butter or margarine to reduce foaming, if desired.
7. Stir in remaining sugar quickly. Return to full rolling boil and boil exactly 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Skim off any foam.
8. Ladle quickly into prepared jars, filling to within 1/8 inch of tops. Wipe jar rims and threads. Cover with two-piece lids. Screw bands tightly. Invert jars while filling others, then return sealed jars to pot of boiling water (or canner). Water must cover jars by 1 to 2 inches; add boiling water if needed. Bring water to gentle boil; process for 10 minutes. Remove jars and place upright on a towel to cool completely. After jars cool, check seals by pressing middle of lid with finger. If lid springs back, lid is not sealed and refrigeration is necessary.
*Let stand at room temperature 24 hours. Store unopened jams in cool, dry, dark place up to 1 year. Refrigerate opened jams up to 3 weeks.