Non-Doomsday Prepping: In a Jam

Kristin Devine

Kristin has humbly retired as Ordinary Times' friendly neighborhood political whipping girl to focus on culture and gender issues. She lives in a wildlife refuge in rural Washington state with too many children and way too many animals. There's also a blog which most people would very much disapprove of

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8 Responses

  1. MAJC Man says:

    Who knew that one day I would read a whole article about jam
    Anyways. Very fun. Very informative. Thanks as always!Report

  2. fillyjonk says:

    Oh, my goodness. I remember the whole paraffin mess. My mom used to use it on the peach jam she made (loaded up, yes, with lemon juice.) I remember the jars were kept in the basement, which is not as cold as a fridge but was pretty close. And the icky sound of shlorping the paraffin seal off when you opened the jam.

    Her peach jam was really good; she put a maraschino cherry and a single whole clove in it for flavor. I’ve never been able to find a commercial peach jam that compared, and peaches are so expensive where i live that I’m not gonna buy them to turn them into jam. But growing up, friends of the family had peach trees and many years we could get peaches free for the picking.

    She also canned tomato sauce and homemade chili sauce and some weird thing called pickalilly that I think was derived from the British “Branston pickle” (Her family was of British extraction, though several generations gone). And mustard pickle, which I thought was gross and wouldn’t eat but my dad loved it…

    At one time in the 70s they belonged to a food co-op and my mom even pressure-canned stuff that was lower acid. I guess pressure canners are like the home version of an autoclave, or at least they seem to operate on a similar principle….I wonder if in an emergency they could be used to sterilize things like medical instruments….Report

  3. Carl Schwent says:

    I too remember paraffin sealed jam from when I was a child, and some that had to be thrown out because the seal failed. As an adult, I’ve made freezer jam; regular canning seemed bothersome and uncertain. The pectin I used was a low sugar variety (some use calcium to help set up) which meant even more fruit taste.Report

  4. Damon says:

    My family never did the wax, but we did can a lot in the 80s. In fact, after my parents divorced and he and I moved to the east coast (from a place not to far from Greenacres WA :)) we took a bunch of canned fruit with us. I was still eating canned peaches and apricots canned in 1983 in 1990-91.

    Damn tasty too.Report

  5. Marchmaine says:

    It was nearly the perfect murder… but the pickled beets were too clever by half. In Saint Mary Mead we pickle many things, but only a sociopath would pickle a beet.
    ~Miss MarpleReport