Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Rainier Cherry Jam

Last week I finished off our cherry picking adventure by making jam out of the Rainier cherries. It was interesting as I was worried the cherries would not have enough pectin to gel the jam completely. I am not sure if the pectin or the complete and total boiling I did of the fruit and sugar that made it actually solidify into a jam. If it were not for the peels I left in the jam, it would have been outright jelly.

Making this jam was interesting as it foamed and would boil up quite high in the pot. It would rise so quickly that I had to lower the heat under the pot resulting in a really long boil time to reach the jellying point. The fruit, for the most part, disintegrated into juice only and there seems to be no real body to the jam aside from the peels, which are what is floating to the top of the jars. The jam also was really runny for a while, and I was concerned that I would have cherry syrup rather than jam. As the jam cooled it did solidify, and now it is a very solid jam that does not move much, so I guess those fears were unfounded.

Last week was spent mostly at home in Illinois visiting family and friends. It was great to get to see some of them and spend some real quality time talking and catching up. It was also nice to get in some Midwestern things I missed. I ate at Portillo's and listened to song birds. I dug in the garden with my parents and went to Grandma's house. I even got to have my storm, and while I did not want to be caught in it during my 14 mile walk with Christine, it was still nice to hear thunder and see lightning.

I was proud of myself for mostly keeping up with the running plan while on vacation. While I was not able to keep the food end of my getting in shape plan, I did run on Wednesday and try for a long walk on that Saturday. I came back and moved on to week 4 yesterday in the couch to 5K plan. It seems like such a big step up, but I am determined to not back down like I usually do. I am going to keep going on week four and then move on to week five next week. Today I am watching World Cup games and trying to get some personal sewing projects started for Chaos Wars. Well the Brasil/North Korea game is starting, so I am off.

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