One of my (unspoken) goals for this summer was that I wanted to make jam. By myself. I wasn't sure what kind, but then my rhubarb plant ever-so-helpfully mass produced this summer and the only feasible way to use it all was to make jam.
I went and bought a water-bath canner, jar tongs (yes-- definitely needed), and jars. Then I read up on water bath canning for a long time before I settled on following this rhubarb recipe along with this guide to water bath canning. If you have never canned before, I highly recommend the site Food In Jars. (so much helpful information.) Also, I highly recommend not reading about botulism on wikipedia.
I thought that making jam would be a really stressful activity. When I was little, I remember my mom making jam each summer and she would send us kids out of the house while she made the jam. We weren't allowed back in the house until she heard the little "pop" of each jam jar sealing. With this in mind, I set out expecting canning to be both frustrating and incredibly difficult. I was pleasantly surprised that not only did I manage to make the jam, but all the jars sealed and the jam actually tastes really good. (And there have been no reports of botulism. Phew.)
As my rhubarb plant is still enormous and set on producing at least 50 more pounds worth of rhubarb, I'm sure that I'll be making more jam soon. (Christmas presents-- done!)
Have you ever made jam? Or tried something you expected to be difficult?