Monday, July 28, 2008

UtHC's Jam, Jelly and Preserve Swap: An Update

Six weeks ago, I invited you to participate in a Jam, Jelly and Preserve swap, scheduled to happen late this fall. I promised to keep you abreast of the details and so here is the latest news, hot off the press!
If this is the first you have heard of Under the High Chair's Jam Swap, read more about it in the official invitation!

OK, I've been meaning to post this update for a while now and encourage everyone in their canning endevours, but how could I light a fire under those of you who are still undecided when I myself had not yet gotten started on preserving summer? Fortunately this week I managed to make a batch of fresh local Raspberry-Vanilla Bean Jam, so now I can at least say that I have gotten a jump on my home canning! I still have many little jars to fill ( love these ones from Canadian Tire) and am waiting for inspiration to hit me for the next batch.

So, for the update!! I was thrilled with the response I received back in June to the invitation and heartily thank those of you who emailed and left comments. A few people have been asking if the swap is still happening and let me reassure you, we are in like Flynn!

Good news, we have a date set!

The swap will be on Sunday, November 9 sometime in the afternoon. It's not too close to Christmas, but late enough to turn those October apples into butter and sauce. I will booking a location once I have a better idea of how many people will be attending. Just a reminder, if you are interested in participating, just leave a comment or send me an email and let me know. If you have an idea what you are bringing, that would be good information to have as well. Again, read the initial invitation for suggestions and requirements on how to participate. Also, please feel free to email at any time if you have any questions or suggestions to help make this event a success!

It is great to see people getting excited about this swap!! In addition to a group of about twenty local participants (so far), we will be welcoming readers who are making the trip from Quebec City and Ottawa. Talk about dedication! I have received a few emails detailing what people are bringing and the line-up is tantalizing; I'm particularly anticipating some Okanagan Cherry Jam from a reader who was recently in British Columbia and was thinking ahead for the swap.

Also something to look forward to is the participation of famed Montreal chef and spice merchant, Philippe de Vienne (and several of his staff) who I've talked about on many occasions like here and here. I'm sure he'll come up with something that will leave us all shaking our heads in wonder.

One a closing note, I have had a few requests from individuals for a tutorial of sorts on jam making and the safety issues of preserving, but I am nowhere near qualified to give any such thing. I have never claimed to be an expert in this area and shudder at the thought of leading people astray, or worse, causing anyone harm by coaching a fatal batch of spoiled beans. Home canning is still a huge learning process for me. Personally, I have never experienced any problems, either with products I have made or received as gifts, but I know it is a concern for some people.

So, I guess all I can say is, do your research, don't bring any jars to the swap that haven't been sealed properly, and if you think a product is questionable, test it out yourself; don't use us as guinea pigs. Remember, I have kids who need their mother! :)

If you are lucky enough to have a family friend or grandmother who is skilled in this area, consider asking them to show you a thing or two and walk you through the process.

I won't be giving the recipe for the Raspberry-Vanilla Jam because on closer inspection it is a little too runny to be classified as 'jam'. It is more like a coulis or thick syrup and I'll have to figure out what happened. And here I was so happy that the vanilla seeds didn't sink and the raspberry seeds didn't rise! Oh well. It tastes heavenly and I am thinking how fabulous it would be over vanilla ice cream or a stack of waffles. OK, I know what I am having for breakfast!

Happy canning to each and every one.


Cookie baker Lynn said...

Jam or sauce, the rapsberry vanilla bean sounds divine. Would you consider, maybe next year, doing a swap by mail?

Emily said...

Ohhh, it sounds amazing! That raspberry and vanilla combination is brilliant.

Ingrid_3Bs said...

MMMMMMM, that "jam" sounds YUMMY! I really like raspberries and am a vanilla person, so it's along the lines of a match made in heaven for me.

Would it be okay if I added you to my blog list?


Bitten Sweets said...

i just found your blog and love it--thanks for sharing on the jams. who doesn't love some jam?!

LyB said...

I can't wait to get the kids' school calendar to see if we can have the Monday off, that would make taking the trip on Sunday a lot easier! I've gotten all my things ready for canning and I even got some of those jars you linked to, they are so cute!

I'm not sure what I'll be making yet but I'll let you know as soon as I decide. Raspberries and vanilla sounds fabulous together, same me a taste, ok? :)

Chef Jeena said...

Raspberry and vanilla sounds amazing, I love raspberry jam yum.

Aimée said...

Hi Lynn- Interesting idea. Of course I'll consider it, but it might not be very economical! :)

Hi Em- it's actually quite pretty with the flecks of vanilla.

Hi Ingrid- Wow, I'd be so please if you would add me to your blog roll! Thanks for reading.

Hi Bitten Sweets- Thanks for stopping by Under the High Chair! You are most welcome here.

Hi Lyb- How exciting!! Picking the date and time was so hard, so many things and people to consider. Hope it works out OK for you.

Hi Jenn- Welcome to UtHC! Yep, it's amazing on pancakes!

Hi Jeena- Thanks!

Cheryl Arkison said...

I've always thought of adding vanilla seeds to raspberry jam, I just might do it tomorrow instead of plain raspberry.

Ingrid_3Bs said...

Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Hi Aimee,

What a beautiful blog, you show your life off very well. It looks wonderful. The jam looks sensational. Thanks for sharing this.


Hit Pay Dirt said...

Aimee, I've been in denial for weeks about the fact that I won't be able to attend the exchange... PLEASE take lots of photos and post any of the recipes that people are willing to share!!


Anonymous said...

Ooooh. I will come for the raspberry vanilla bean alone. :P

I don't any experience in making jams/preserves but I will practice before the big swap.

La Cuisine d'Helene said...

Wow ça à l'air tellement intéressant mais je vis trop loin. Dommage.

Michael A. Knipp said...

Hi, Aimme!

Great recipes!

Thought you might be interested in this preserves maker in NYC. Her name is Sarabeth, and her Web site is She's make the best jams - Even Oprah thinks so!

Right now, she's offering 10% any purchase of $50 or more with coupon code "OPRAH08."

There are lots of cakes, cookies, and other goodies, too. Yum!

Happy Holidays!

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