Sunday, August 14, 2011

Something completely different

I've been quite busy and productive this weekend, though not with anything textile or fiber related.  Yesterday the husband was at a martial arts clinic (I didn't go because of the injury which will be getting fixed in my upcoming surgery) so I stayed home and got caught up on some totally modern jewelry making and did laundry.  Today though, I canned jam!   I haven't made jam since grade school so this was fun and exciting and I feel like a clever and accomplished and terribly thrifty homemaker.  Even though since I had to actually buy the fruit, possibly it wasn't all that thrifty in the end.

So far, I've make 3 pints of pickles using cucumbers from the garden, 7 half pint jars of mixed fruit jam from a recipe I cobbled together from a list of things Himself decided he wanted in his jam, 5 pints of plum jam, and a couple of jars of lemon sage mustard.  Tomorrow I'm going to do some pint jars of strawberries with the 4 pounds of berries I got on sale at the market.  Normally I wouldn't bother canning with berries from the regular grocery store, but they must have got a shipment of really fresh ones or something because these strawberries are really good.  I think we will have plenty of jam to last until next year, and a few jars to give away as gifts as well.

All this canning business has got me thinking about some of the period mustard recipes I've been playing around with.  Most of them are better if you age them awhile, so they would benefit from being pasteurized and sealed in a sterile jar.  I think I may try fiddling with some of the recipes so I can can a few of them and see how that works out.  It's not exactly period, but it's safer than period food storage methods and would be easier to transport to events.  Plus I wouldn't need to keep all the little jars and things in my fridge, I could just put them in the pantry.


  1. First let me say that I love your blog. I stumbled upon it when looking for some information on period embroidery. I live in the East Kingdom and love the fabric arts so I was thrilled to find someone so informative! We are moving soon and I thought to try canning and such. Is it horribly difficult?

  2. Thank you! I'm glad you find all this helpful in some way! I'm just doing water bath canning, which is great for jams, jellies, pickles and tomatoes. Anything acidic really. It's not hard at all and you don't need much equipment. There was a little canning discovery kit from Ball at the grocery store with a few jars and a canning rack for about $15, on sale for less than that plus I had a coupon so it was a good deal. has a ton of information, as does the Ball website, As long as you already have a large stock pot, the equipment isn't expensive either. Give it a try! It's fun! Just follow the directions carefully and you will be fine!