G’morning everyone! We spent the afternoon on the beach yesterday and had a wonderful time. The Ocean may have taken one of our Frisbees as an offering but returned to us some beautiful things including a gorgeous black porous rock, some interesting slugs in beautiful shells that loved crawling up our hands before we put them back in the water and a great show put on by some crazy dolphins that were busy flapping their tails on top of the water and making some huge splashes. It was a beautiful day and we had a great time together running, playing and feeding the gulls. Speaking of the gulls, does anyone know exactly how many different kind of seagulls there are in Northern Florida? We noticed 3 distinctive types of them, all in one group. Sounds like a great homeschool research project for a certain 12 year old that I know…cough, cough.
I had a request for a mango jam and the last time we were at the big Farmer’s Market we scored a good deal on some beautiful fruits, including 4 huge mangoes. BTW, I checked, and it can be spelled mangoes or mangos, either way is correct. The vendor let us taste these mangoes and said the whole shipment of them were string free. I thought these would be perfect for jam since some of them that I have bought in the past can be really stringy and fibrous. It also helped that she let us taste one right there and you just know they melted in our mouths. They were juicy and oh-so-sweet. They were ripe, but not overly ripe, so it allowed me a few days before I had to make my batch. This one is, like my Ape For Bananas Jam, made specifically for my nephew who has severe food allergies. I had to modify a basic recipe that I found online to not include any butter. I hope he is able to enjoy this one, too.
I did some research on mangoes before I made the jam and learned a LOT about them. Here’s a bit of what I gathered from the web. Mango trees are indigenous to India and are often used (fruit and leaves) in weddings since it’s considered a symbol of love. It is the national fruit of India, the Philippines and Pakistan. The mango is considered the “king” of all fruit, worldwide. And who would’ve thought that mangoes were related to poison oak and poison ivy! You can get the same rash from handling green mangoes, even the leaves and sap so, of course, you should NEVER burn the wood from a mango tree. It will cause serious eye and lung irritation. Other distant relatives are the pistachio and the cashew. The skin can cause a rash, like poison oak or ivy, in or on the mouth so it is typically not eaten.
Since mangoes represent love, it was a perfect jam to make for my nephew. The result was stunningly beautiful in the jar and the texture was perfectly set. I have finally succeeded in getting a firm set on something. I think it may be the 2 full pouches of pectin…I’m on to something here, I just know it. While I was potting the gorgeous jam all I could keep thinking was “liquid sunshine”, over and over again. In honor of the pure beauty of this, I am calling it my Golden Sunshine Jam.
Golden Sunshine Jam
4 cups prepared fruit (about 4 large or 5 medium fully ripe mangoes)
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
7-1/2 cups sugar, measured into separate bowl
2 pouches Liquid Fruit Pectin
Preheat canner and prepare jars and lids. Peel and pit mangos. Puree fruit thoroughly, in a blender, one mango at a time. Measure exactly 4 cups prepared fruit into a large (6-8 qt) pot. Stir in lemon juice until blended. Stir sugar into fruit mixture in the pot. Bring it to full rolling boil (a boil that doesn't stop bubbling when stirred down) on high heat, stirring constantly. Stir in pectin. Return to full rolling boil and boil 1 minute, stirring constantly.
Remove pan from heat and quickly skim off any foam from the top. 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, 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 9 half pint jars (I did 7 half pints and 1 pint)
My Mabert’s 85th birthday was this week. I sent her a box that included a jar of the strawberry lime, banana and mango jams that I had made. She was thrilled to get it and left me the sweetest message last night. I can’t wait to call her back later and see which one she tried first. She said she had never had nor seen mango or banana jams. I was just glad to be sharing with her some of her inspiration and teachings and it filled my heart to send her package to her. I love you Mabert!
Till next time, Be Blessed and Be Sweet!