Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Thank You

I spend a great deal of time in late summer and early fall canning the produce from my garden. Preserving the harvest fills my pantry shelves for those long, cold days of winter.

One day as I simmered, and ladled, and processed jars of goodness, my husband joined me in the kitchen. I  was pulling finished jars of salsa from the hot water bath and listening to the satisfying "pop" of the sealed lids when he said, "Thank you." At first, I thought he was just especially grateful for my spicy dip that he loves with chips. And, he was. However, his thanks held another meaning.

He shared the story of helping an aunt can jams and jellies as a kid. When the aunt heard the snap of the processed jars, she responded with a "Thank you" each time. It was a fond memory for my husband, and good reminder for me. The garden and subsequent canning are a lot of work, but I am thankful for them. I am thankful for all they provide. Delicious sauces, salsas, juices, jams, jellies, and pickles fill my basement shelves. Shallots, onions, and garlic hang in bunches. Squash are in baskets. Dried peppers and herbs are jarred for seasoning future dishes. Still more herbs and a few vegetables are housed in the freezer. We will eat well this winter. "Thank you" seems more than appropriate.

I don't grow blueberries or limes, but that didn't stop me from stirring up some Blueberry and Lime Jam. Spread on toast, or warmed and poured over pancakes, it is certainly another sweet reason to be thankful.
(adapted from Gourmented)

4 cups fresh blueberries
3 limes, juice and zest
1/4 cup water
4 cups sugar
1 envelope liquid pectin

Combine blueberries, juice and zest of limes, and water in a large, heavy pot. 
Cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes, until berries soften and release juices.
Add the sugar and stir to dissolve.
Heat to a boil and cook for about 4-5 more minutes.
Add pectin, and boil for about 2-3 more minutes until thickened.
Remove from heat.
Ladle into sterilized jars, leaving 1/2 inch head space and seal.
Process for 10 minutes in a water bath. (Yield: approx 6 1/2-pint jars)

(If you are unsure of the canning process, there are many informative sites online. I am not a canning authority.)


  1. What a wonderful way to think of it, Fran! I like that. And wish we'd had a batter harvest this year so we could preserve some it.

    The jam is right up my alley--I love tart with sweet.

  2. That's a sweet story, Fran, and an excellent practice.


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