Monday, October 18, 2010

For My Love Lavender Raspberry Jam

Good Monday morning Jammers! I feel like it’s been forever since I’ve posted anything (it‘s actually been 5 days), and it’s driving me nuts. I feel like I have abandoned the project, but I’m back now and with a new passion, which I will get to in a bit. As to why I was away for a while, we all flew out last Thursday to visit with our daughter and her family outside of Indianapolis for a few days. We had a GREAT time and made many great family memories. While there, we were thrilled that we got to be there for our granddaughters 7th birthday party. We are blessed with a beautiful family, loads of pictures were taken…but we forgot to sit down and take that 1 big, all together, family portrait we had planned on. Oh well, guess we’ll just have to make it up with one on the beach when they all come down for spring break, hint, hint, hint. Our daughter has also started a new blogging project, she’s a very talented scrap booker and I was amazed by her work. As soon as she gets it fully going, I will post a link for you all to enjoy, if you’re into scrapping. We arrived home early Sunday afternoon, had a quick bite of better late than never lunch and all crashed for the entire afternoon, right into the evening. I had taken the laptop and a recipe to try to get a post done while we were gone but it just never happened, we were too busy making memories. I love my family and my life! Oh yeah, and while we were there, my son went to his first hibachi grill experience at a Japanese restaurant. He was amazed and had a blast. He wants us to start going at least once a month or so, just for the entertainment factor, even though he doesn’t eat a thing they have…we love it though, good thing!

Now, about that new “passion” I mentioned earlier. We had applied for a plot at the local, community, organic garden and just found out, while we were in Indy, that there was an opening and we got it. It’s going to be a group project with one of our oldest and dearest friends. I will post pictures of it once we get the plot cleaned and replanted. I know there is some nice rosemary still there but the rest is really overgrown, but, it won’t be after Wednesday. There is an organic plant sale this Saturday at the Green Market to benefit the Beaches Local Food Network‘s Outreach Programs (which basically runs the Green Market and the Community Garden). We hope to pick up quite a bit of our first plantings while we are there grabbing our weekly produce. Now, in addition to my blogger hat, I will have a gardener’s hat, too! It will be nice having access to the greenhouses for seedlings. I wonder where we can pick up some organic seeds? Any suggestions?

One of my friends sent a text while we were out of town saying she had picked me up 2 cases of my jelly jars at a garage sale for $1 a piece! Woo-hoo, thanks girl, love ya! Now, on to the next recipe. Last week I posted one of two recipes I did one day with lavender. This is the second of those and it was for a raspberry lavender jam. When you think of the associations of raspberries, picture their deep, rich, red color and my mind visions a bunch of little hearts (which they sort of look like) and I am instantly filled with thoughts of love, stamina, vigor and vitality. This would be a good one to serve on a chilly Valentines Day Morning, in a little crystal dish, just above a small spoon, next to a plate of pastries, on the tray adorned with a blood red rosebud, as you’re headed to deliver breakfast in bed to someone special. It really could be Valentines Day or any other special occasion or no occasion at all…how about next Sunday morning? How surprised would your loved one be? This jam is charged to keep your love strong and alive. There are several different types of love and all of them could be used with this one. Romantic lovers, family lovers, friend loves, anonymous loves…go ahead shower them with your love with this jam which is why I call this one For My Love Lavender Raspberry Jam!

For My Love Lavender Raspberry Jam

1 10oz package frozen whole raspberries (organic if you can get them)
1 cup lavender infusion (recipe below)
¼ cup lemon juice
4 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon unsalted butter
1 3oz pouch liquid pectin

For lavender infusion - Bring 2 cups water to a boil in a small saucepan then add 2 tablespoons dried, organic, edible, lavender flowers. Stir gently then let it steep for 20 minutes. Strain into a glass jar and discard, recycle or compost the flowers. Leftover infusion can be saved and used within 2 weeks, if stored in the refrigerator.

Preheat canner and prepare jars and lids. Thaw raspberries and place them in an 8 qt pan and crush with a handheld masher. Add all other ingredients, except pectin, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Add pectin and bring back to a boil for 2 minutes.

Remove from heat and let stand for 1 minute. Skim off any remaining foam. I also skimmed about half of the seeds out. Ladle the jam into the hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Wipe the rims of the jars with a clean damp cloth and add the lids and rings, turning the rings until just finger-tight. Place the jars in the preheated canner and bring canner to a full rolling boil. Process jars for 10 minutes (adjusting according to your altitude, if necessary) then remove canner from heat. Let canner sit for 5 minutes, then, carefully remove hot jars from water with a jar lifter and place them on a towel on the counter and leave them undisturbed for 24 hours. Check the seals before storing and use within 12 months.

Makes about 5 half pint jars.

This jam is a beautiful deep red crimson color and has a wonderful bouquet of lavender kissed with raspberries. The flavor is a perfect balance of the two and I almost think it needs and/or deserves a special jar. Maybe one of the crystal cut jars or the little patterned ones with the gasket and hinged lids. Go ahead, this is the one to get fancy with. Maybe a little square of crimson cloth tied around the lid? Red ribbon with a fancy cut label attached? Go for it!

The contest/giveaway for the $35 CSN Stores gift certificate is still going on. It’s not too late to enter…the deadline is this Friday, so you have a few more days. The winner will be drawn on Saturday. To enter you must leave a comment on the contest blog post, which you can find here, . So far I only have 7 entries total from 3 people. I’m sure they don’t mind those odds, but wouldn’t you like to get in on it too?

I will be making more jam this coming weekend after I go to the Green Market. Stay tuned for the winning announcement on Saturday and then a recipe or two by next Monday. I will be busy this week getting the new garden plot ready…what are you up to this week? Leave me a comment and let’s share!

Be Blessed and Be Sweet!

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