Sake
Preface:
Apricot Jamming: Fruit Prep, Pt. 1

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Once you have the apricots marinating in the sugar-lemon mixture (for at least two hours), this would be a good time to sterilize the jam jars.

I couldn't find the Ball mason jars anywhere- you know the ones with the lids and seals that come separately? I looked all around town for them, but couldn't find the right size for jam, so I went with these small-ish ones with the simple push-button safety seal, which I think (I hope) are fine. I found them at the Japanese dollar store, Daiso, an amazing store, btw.

Again, I read a bunch of articles on how to properly sterilize these jars- Jens just said to put them in the dishwasher and they will sterilize on their own when you pour the hot jam into them, and to steep the lids in hot water. I did something else entirely. No need to get one of those sterilization gadgets, though- those just scary looking and unnecessary.

Jars pre-sterilization. I had to get all the stickers off the jars, which took some thumb-rubbing.

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My mom told me to do this: lay a towel on the bottom of a big pot, add water, and throw in all the jars and lids. Turn on the heat and let it come to a boil. Boil for a few minutes, then turn the heat off. Just leave them in there until right before you're ready to start the jam.

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OPTION: One more interesting thing you can do after the jars are sterilizing. Remember all the apricot pits that you saved earlier? Well, Jens suggests cracking them open (one pit per however many jars you may have) and taking out the kernals, which looks like an almond.

This process was fun- I basically just wrapped a towel around a huge knife and cracked them open on the kitchen counter with the butt end of the knife. Many trials and a supreme amount of focus later, I extracted enough kernals. I made the mistake of doing this on my mom's wooden cutting board though, which left indentations on the board. OOPS. So don't do that.

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Drop a kernal into the sterilized jar. Jens says that this gives the jam a nutty taste (did you know that the almond is genetically linked to the apricot??). There's all this jibber-jabber that these kernals have some poisonous properties, but whatever, I doubt one will do any harm.

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Take it from me, DO NOT wait until you start the jamming process to finish the above two steps- you'll have too much other stuff going on to concentrate on anything else.

Next up- cooking up the apricots!
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1 comment

  • Sale of apricot kernels is banned in many Western countries; but they are widely sold and eaten in Asian cultures.

    http://www.practicallyedible.com/edible.nsf/pages/apricotkernels

    Randal Oulton on

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