What's happening today 2020


my mother/ grandmother did it that way also.


Yes, I remember that! It sealed it well…


These last few posts are making me feel a lot better and I look forward to Sam @tennessean seeing them. I was afraid he was starting think I was crazy (my typos didn’t help). But yes, I agree with all that has been said and it lines up with the way I do things and also explains why my seemingly short-cut method works. BTW @k8tpayaso I said exactly the same thing about if I don’t cook a batch down enough it becomes fruit syrup! haha. ANd I honestly don’t mind that- I really do use it for pancakes and enjoy it. Also just as you said, some fruits don’t have enough pectin and even with my high sugar content they never get that really strong, thick-jello type consistency. peaches are somewhat this way. But in those cases I just call them “preserves” (I have no idea what the true difference is in the meaning of preserves vs jam (to me is defined by seeds and small fruit tidbits but a firm set) or jelly (my definition is: no fruit pieces and a firm set.) The only real difference (to me, with my use of the words) is that preserves sort of need a spoon to dip out and spread (still much thicker than syrup though) rather than knife but as still great. Also, if I have preserves that don’t quite seal or are runnier than the should be, I just store the jar in the freezer and call them “Freezer preserves” just like @moose71 talked about.
So, I have a clever name for almost any way my stuff turns out, that way I can act like I planned it! hahaha If I use too much sugar AND/or cook too long, I call it rock candy! hahaha (or trash which is where it goes)


Well, @k8tpayaso and @thecityman got me to wondering what properties cause the pectin that I use which is the “Ball Low or No-Sugar Needed Pectin” to be useful in low sugar recipes.

Turns out (and I am just trying to paraphrase stuff that I read off of Google) that that there is two types of pectin. There is the high methoxyl and low methoxyl pectins. High methoxyl pectin is the more common of the two and is labeled as either fast-set or slow-set. Fast-set is used for jams and marmalades and slow-set is used for clear jellies. Low methoxyl pectin, which uses calcium instead of sugar to create a set, is used for low or no sugar recipes.

Only question that I have is where does the calcium for the low methoxyl pectin come from?

I really believe that the only real benefit to store bought regular (high methoxyl) pectin over not using store bought pectin is the reduction of cook time for guananteed set. Store bought pectin only requires basically 1 minute of boiling whereas Kevin states that he boils his for 20-25 minutes. There is really no significant difference in the amount of sugar used between the two. Both use a
“mountain of sugar”. :grinning: Conversely, with using the “Low or No-sugar Needed” (low methoxyl) store bought pectin there is the added benefit of greatly reduced sugar required.

Nice to know stuff about methoxyl, whatever that is.


That is great information. I never knew any of that! I’ve learned so much from all this- so thanks to those who contributed here. Seems like we both have a system we like. My mom actually taught me my method when I was a little kid…I think I’d feel guilty going to added pectin, even if it would reduce my cook time by a lot! ha


Not trying to be a “canning cop” here but this is not recommended. The glass used for canning jars is not tempered for oven use and is not meant for use as bakeware. Just do not want folks to get the wrong idea.


I wouldn’t consider sterilization temps to be baking. The canning jars will handle 200 with no problems.


If it floats your boat, go ahead and do it. I’m just saying that it is not recommended.


This is my first year getting satsuma. So I’m not sure. They are still very green. Looking at Adams County nursery maturity chart it says Satsuma ripens late august in my area. So I guess I have a while to go.


Is this a choke cherry?


My folks did it that way, but paraffin is tricky. There’s a lot of hysteresis in melt point, and you surely don’t want to get it too hot because of the risk of combustion. Once it’s fluid, it can cool off quite a bit before it sets again. You don’t necessarily sterilize the top surface of the jelly/jam because the paraffin isn’t hot enough. Also, it tends to shrink slightly from the glass. Often, my folks discarded jelly/jam that had molded.

I, myself, have discarded jelly that molded under apparently intact metal canning-jar seals without further processing. I feel that further processing is necessary for “complete safety.” YMMV, of course. The taste of food prepared in “complete safety” may be sub-optimal. See:

United States. USDA. National Institute of Food and Agriculture. Kuhn, Gerald D., et al., ed. Complete Guide to Home Canning. 2009. 2015. Bulletin No. 539. 12 July 2020 <https://www.healthycanning.com/wp-content/uploads/USDA-Complete-Guide-to-Home-Canning-2015-revision.pdf>.


There is always the potential for poorly preserved canned goods. I’ve thrown out many a jar for mold, improper seal, discoloration, just plain “looks funny”. That is something that anyone that cans has to be aware of and prepared for.


Exactly! I think that people who’ve grown up on supermarket food feel that raising their own involves less waste. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Also, I think that people don’t trust their senses, try to use supermarket food when it is obviously sub-standard — because they rely on food-industry assurances — and occasionally get in trouble. I think that people who’ve raised their own used to “know better” — probably from the repeated experience of throwing out a lot — and were healthier for that, not necessarily for growing their own.


Chokecherries should hang in clusters:


i sterilize for 20 min at 200f. doesn’t hurt them at all.


looks like nanking cherries.


I’m with SP it’s not a choke cherry. Looking at the leaves in your picture I initially reached the same conclusion as Moose. But you are in zone 8. Is that picture from today? or from a while back? Here is my most exposed nanking cherry today in zone 4.

It has just started to turn red the last couple of days and need two or more weeks to ripen up to the point where you can eat a small handful at a time. They really are quite sour, but at this point in zone 4 we have no other cherries nor plums ready yet so we humour them for a while. They were once sold as a pollinator for some of our hybrid plums, but not many nurseries are claiming that anymore.


That was in Colorado Springs and pagosa springs Colorado.


Made a video tasting of methley plums today. Thought I would share it here.


Found out a couple days ago that some folks about 4 miles up the road from us sighted a black bear. On their back porch. Yikes.

A couple weeks ago, something got into a small (2ft tall) plastic latched trash bin that we kept cat food in. I found it part way down the hill about 15ft from where it was, with the lid damaged, and off, with the food spilled out.

I wonder what could’ve done damage like that. I first thought maybe a dog, as we’ve seen strays up here messing with our cats, or a coon, but shudder to think it might’ve been a bear.