Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Yesterday was kind of a comedy of errors. I went to go and get jars as soon as I cleaned up from my breakfast and blogging, and I walked to my local hardware store in the district to pick up a flat. The last time I went to get jars in August, they were stacked floor to ceiling. There were several types of half pints there, both wide and regular mouth. Jelly jars were also there in plentiful supply. I figured there would be no problem because hey, how many people in this urban setting are making jam? Well I was shocked to get to the store and find they only had a few flats of quarts left. No pints, half pints, or jelly jars to be seen. This made even the store manager scratch his head. He said they would get more in this Friday, but my quince would not make it that long. So, I thanked him and left to ponder my options. I have learned recently that my time is much better spent calling around rather than trying to navigate around via public transportation and walking from place to place to find out they are also out of what I need. I made calls to many stores to find the same thing, sold out. Finally I found some in the city, and my awesome husband swung by the store on his way home and picked me up a flat. We had a wonderful dinner out and then he headed to a guy thing, so I went home to jam it up.
I washed the quince that are pictured above of all their fuzzy outside layer. It was an interesting texture and feeling. Kind of like wiping felt fuzz off of a waxy floor. They were yellowish and smelled very floral, like perfume, and the smell was quite pleasant but strong. I then started to cut them, and myself, over the next hour. Granted our knives are not as sharp as they could be, but this was beyond ridiculous. The quince, while ripe as far as I can tell from my research, were like cutting a butternut squash. I expected something more like an apple, but the texture is quite firmer. When I cut them open, I revealed a beautiful arrangement of little seeds.
I then worked on cutting out bad sections, cores, and paring up the fruit into smaller pieces. Then the fruit, water, lemon, zest, and sugar went into the pot, and the cooking process began.
It was a long one for this, and I am sure I could have taken it further to get a more rosy red jam. I was, however, quite fearful of breaking my pectin down and having a sauce rather than a jam, so I cut it off. I ended up with nine full half pints of jam. They look good, and the few tastes of the jam I had while doing my jelly test revealed a sweet, but perfume smelling jam. It is very similar to rose tea in the flavor, and I can see why this is good with cheese.
Today I am planning on getting all the things done that I did not accomplish yesterday due to the jar debacle. I also have the possibility of disappearing from the blog for a while. I am performing my civic duty by attending jury duty this week, so if I am not here, you know where I am.