Guest Post: Pam Gunn

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Hello, My name is Pam, I am 74 and have never “canned” anything.
My mom did the canning but not me. Whenever I wanted something "canned",
I would ask her and she would do it I loved her canning.
 
My mom passed 10 years ago.
 
My brother who is 69 and a widower
lost his job of 50 years last March due to Covid.
 
My Brother thought we should make our mom's canned corn relish
he asked me if I have my mom’s recipe. Yes, I said.
We canned 14 pints of corn relish.
Looking for the corn relish recipe lead me to my mom’s chili sauce recipe.
My husband and I canned 6 pints of chili sauce.
Using tomatoes from our little garden.
  

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Then my brother said do you have mom’s tomato preserve recipe?  
No, I didn't. Could not find it anywhere.
BUT I did find a tomato jam recipe online.
We agree it was better than mom’s (lol) and we loved it.
We have each made it three times actually
three double batches because we had that many tomatoes.
The recipe is for a single batch that I doubled three times.
Turned out great but from what I have read
it is not recommended to double a recipe when canning.
Though it worked out for us and is OMG-delicious.
 
 
 
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Canned Spiced Tomato Jam
 
3 cups prepared tomatoes (about 2 1/4) lbs
1 1/2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
4 1/2 cups white cane sugar
1 3/4 ounces dry pectin (I used Sure-Jell) yellow box
 
Prepare tomatoes wash, scald, peel, chop. Place chopped tomatoes in saucepan and heat slowly to a simmer. Stir constantly to prevent sticking and burning. Cover and simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Measure 3 cups of cooked tomatoes into a large saucepan. Add lemon rind, allspice, cinnamon, and cloves.
 
To make the Jam, Sterilize canning jars. Add lemon juice to the prepared tomatoes in a saucepan. Measure sugar and set aside. Stir powdered pectin into prepared tomatoes. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring constantly. At once stir in sugar. Stir and bring to a full rolling boil that cannot be stirred down. Then boil hard for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
 
Remove from heat. Skim off foam. Pour hot jam into hot jars. Leave 1/4” headspace. Wipe rims of jars with a dampened clean paper towel. Add two-piece metal lids and rings. Jars should seal within 12 hours.
 
This makes 5 half-pints it is so good you will want to make more
yummy on fresh bread or toast.
 
 
 
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I hope my mom in heaven is smiling down as she has watched my brother and I can some goodies
we had fun doing it and remember the good times we had as young folks
that was the best part,
now I have fun memories of canning with my brother and husband.
 
My mom’s recipe used cinnamon sticks and sliced lemon
my brother was disappointed that the new recipe did not use cinnamon sticks
as he liked licking the cinnamon stick when a new jar was opened
I told him to add a cinnamon stick to his jars would not hurt a thing
then he could lick to his heart's content so he did just that.
When his grandson Justin (Rooster) came over he gave him some jam to taste,
Rooster saw the cinnamon stick yup he wanted them too
he licked the jam off. Rooster is nine years old too funny.
 
 
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My brother was just here to pick up some empty fruit jars.
My husband and I made Carmel apple jam with Haralson Apples.
It turned out as good as the Tomato Jam.
Apples, brown sugar, white sugar, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg or and a little lemon juice.
My brother stopped over yesterday and tasted it
now he is in the apple jam business at his house,
could not find any jars so took the last of my jars.
I had so much fun since he retired he loves to cook. 
Now I think our next brother-sister project will be fruit cake for Christmas
using of course my mom’s recipe soaks in a quart of brandy for 6 weeks after it is baked,
very good, have a slice of fruit cake,
a couple of rum balls and you'll get tipsy before the wines with dinner.
Love having my brother home and not working warms my heart
to see such a simple thing passed down. 
 
 
 
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In 2004 I had a friend Jeannie who was taking a rug hooking class.
I had no idea what rug hooking was
I sewed clothes and made quilts mostly.
Well to make a long story short Jeannie talked me into taking the class
that was 3 hours a night one night a week for 4 weeks
at the end of the 4 weeks, I was sold hook, line, and sinker
on rug hooking and have been hooking ever since.
Jeannie, not so much she hated it.
She liked the end product
but hooking was not for her so I made her a few hooked things
and then a few years ago she lost her life to bladder cancer.
 
 
 
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As I hooked over these past 17 years I have developed my own style.
I like doing what is called primitive rug hooking
and usually use strips of wool 8. - 8.5 and occasionally 9. the number reflects
the width of the wool strip a size 8 is equal to 1/4 inch.
If you see a rug hooked with lots of detail those folks are doing fine rug hooking
not for me I love finding antique rugs and trying to hook my rug to look old.
I am told I have a great sense of color and take that has a huge compliment.
I do know whatever I hook I have to like it.
I can’t hook things that are of no interest to me and if I don’t like the color
color planning is a huge part of the process and one I really enjoy.
I will never live long enough to hook all the wool in my studio.
I am definitely addicted.
 
 
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When I said I had nothing to write about Corey encouraged me to write about my cooking, hook rugs, and my gardens and flowers.
I love flowers all flowers however I only can have shade-loving flowers in my yard
as we have too much shade due to the trees.
When we purchased our home 43 years ago we had nothing but grass no trees
and so we planted trees
my dad said they were to close to each other
I said oh no - lots of room
and there was when the trees were little
well, trees grow.
Now we have a wonderful shaded yard like living in the forest sort of
but so hard to grow grass so much shade.
We kept planting ground cover, hostas, and shade-loving annuals.
We put our time energy and money into our yard and home.
We have finally found what works well
for colorful annuals and stick with.
 
 
 
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 I know my mom is up in heaven smiling at me and shaking her head
when I was young and at home, I wanted nothing to do with gardening
but once I got my own home it was the opposite.
We had 45 rose bushes the first years we were here but then the sun went away,
as those trees grew now no roses bushes but we have over 300 hostas
many varieties and lush shade.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sidenote: Pam has many more beautiful photos but for some unknown
reason I have not been able to post them today. So if I can I will add them later.
 
                 

Guest Post: Pam Gunn