Oct 1, 2007
The Smell of Sweet Success...
...smells something like apple jelly. Okay, so it did take two attempts to successfuly can my hommade apple jelly. And I did end up having to unseal and recan all 20 jars. And it did cause a fight that threatened the very fiber of my marriage...but I did it none the less!
Let me explain....First, I want you to know that I followed the recipe TO a T and that there is no reason, other than error on the reciper writers part, that anything should have gone wrong. I made 20....count them 20....jars of apple jelly. I also successfully sealed them all on the first go round! 'Canning shmanning! There's nothin' to it! Couldn't be simpler!' I gloated to myself as stood back to admire my handy work. After all, it had only taken all afternoon, dirtied every dish in my house, steamed up my windows and used enough water for a small country and enough sugar to keep every toddler in the world awake for an entire week. I kicked back to relax, but as the concoction inside the jars cooled, it seemed as if something was amiss. You see, it did not look like jelly. It looked more like applesauce colored liquid. It just needs more time. I tried to convince myself. HA! Wishful thinking! By the next morning when the "jelly" still sloshed around like juice, I could no longer deny the inevitable conclusion...the "jelly" was NOT going to gel!
Breathing deeply, trying to remain optomisitc and not get violent with the "jelly", I thought, I'll just have to redo it. But when I learned that you cannot reuse to lids and I would have to go buy more, that was the last straw. Believe you me, domestic, softspoken, patient little suzie hommaker is the LAST thing I felt like as visions of smashing those 20 jars to smitherines danced through my head.
Enter Jason....oh, poor, sweet, unsuspecting Jason. He innocently walks in. I explain what happened and the conversation went a little like this:
Jason: Ya know what I'm thinking?
Sarah (thinking to herself sarcastically): No, no I do not. Please enlighten me.
Jason: It would have been a good idea to try it in one jar before you did all of these. (And of course I heard, "You stupid idiot, why didn't try it out just using one jar since you're obviously incapable of making something that turns out right.")
Sarah (defending a non-attacking comment as well as defending why I did not take this very common sense precaution): I can't even believe that's the first think you said to me! Can't you see how upset I am about this! There was no reason for me to do that! I followed the recipe to a T! I know how to follow a recipe! It should have turned out right! I hate canning! That recipe is stupid! I'm going to throw them all away and never do this again!
Later that day....with some coaxing from Jason and my mother as well as some cool down time and a few apologies to my hubby, I regained my suzie homemaker composure and gave it another whirl. Jason helped by unsealing all the jars and washing them, while I got to fixing the jelly. It only needed a little more fruit pectin and a little more boiling. Then I resterilized them, resealed them and I'm happy to anounce that, after cooling, they are very jelly like!
A lot of blood, sweat and tears went into these jars. (Okay, no blood, but the sweat and tears are for real.) So if you get one of these babies for Christmas, know that you must be a VERY important person, and be warned that you better love every last bit of it!