|A very over-ripe Fig|
Most of it has had to do with the idea of being an adult and realizing that I have no idea what that entails. As I mentioned recently for the first few years out of college I worked in a bookstore, which I absolutely loved. With that, though, came disapproval from my parents and (so I thought) judgment from others. Why was I working in retail with my degree, why wasn’t I making more money? With the best of intentions, these types of questions tended to cement the fact that I felt like I was doing it all wrong. At the time and still sometimes now it always felt like everyone else had it down and it was just me stumbling around.
I know better than all of this of course. I look back at each new thing that I was scared to try, certain that I was going to do it wrong, and many of those same things are second nature to me now. More often than not it turns out that I am very good at many new things, and I know how to ask the right questions so that I learn how to do whatever it is correctly. For some reason I still go into the unknown with some serious insecurity. I will say that after making the move from New York to California my confidence has risen considerably. I mean really I did that and survived/succeeded what else can really knock me down? Besides canning that is.
I have wanted to start canning for years, sometime around the time my husband started working on farms and bringing me home excess amounts of whatever was in season. But each season and each year has found me too nervous/unsure/insecure to actually try to can anything. I blame it on the fact that I think about things too much, and then to make is worse I research. When you research canning you find out that if you don’t do it right you make people sick. Bad sick. Making people sick is not something that I am interested in, especially people outside of my household. My husband will probably forgive me, but what about the people that I give these canned goodies to? It was all just too much for me to handle, and since I didn’t have anyone to actually teach me to can I never tried.
What kind of cooking fears do you have?
This was one of the many books that I referenced to figure out what I was doing:
Shop Indie Bookstores
And this site helped answer a lot of my question.
Spiced Lemon Fig Jam
Though the recipe is my own I followed the process here
24 medium figs chopped
¼ cup lemon juice
¼ packet pectin*
½ cup water
Zest of 2 lemons
1.5 teaspoon vanilla
2 teaspoons honey
2 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
Prepare your jars and lids for canning.
In a medium pot bring lemon juice, pectin, water and figs to a rolling boil.
Add remaining ingredients, stirring occasionally bring pot back to a boil & allow to boil for 1 minute.
Turn off heat and skim foam from top of jam, allow jam to sit for five minutes.
Take jars from hot water and line up on counter, using a funnel fill each jar, leaving a ¼ inch at the top.
Remove air bubbles from jars.
Put on and tighten lids, and process jars in boiling water for 5-10 minutes
*I used a minimal amount of pectin because I felt like I had to use it, this is not a runny jam so next time I don’t think I am going to use any at all. It’s all up to you and what you prefer.
I also think that more spice could be added to this with nice results, let me know any combos you try out.
Of course now that I have figured it out some other great Sacramento food bloggers have been putting out some fig jam recipes, you can check them out here and here.