On my final day of this FIVE day Thanksgiving weekend, I opted to spend the day in the kitchen. I had no idea how long it would actually take me to convert 24 apples and 3 pounds of plums into 15 half-pints of spread.
I actually thought the apple butter would take the least amount of time, but it took FOR EVER! Part of the problem was I didn't follow the recipe.... I didn't think there was enough cider to simmer the massive amounts of apples I had sliced up, in the end this required 2 hours of simmering to boil off all the liquid.
This summer I was given a huge box of red plums, not knowing what to do I decided to just freeze them until I figured something out. I found a recipe for Plum Orange Jam, which sounded different and delicious... and contained a hint of orange liquor. (I snitched a lick and it is delish - the jam not the liquor). This was by far the messiest project of the day, as the thawing plums released all their juices up to my elbows. It also took a lot longer because I got carried away prepping the plums and watching the Green Bay/Atlanta game, and realized that I had 9 cups of plums prepped and only needed 5 cups... so the surplus of plums is stored in the fridge ready for another batch tomorrow.
Learned: There is something about that "pop" the jars make after their water bath that is so rewarding. The moments after they are removed fill me with anticipation, until I finally hear confirmation of a job well done.