The Day I Tried to Kill My Friends with Botulism

So, when I made the curd last week, I canned it like jam.

Blackberry and Lemon Curd from

Blackberry and Lemon Curd from

Which is to say, I canned it the way my mother cans jam.

Which is to say, I did not give it the good ‘ol 15-20 minute boiling water bath in the canning kettle.

Because 1) I was worried it would curdle the curd. 2) I was being on the lazy side of practical.

Two weeks later, as I’m arranging jars to be wrapped as a bridal shower gift for a dear friend, I noticed something.

The lid was ever-so-slightly domed. And when I pressed it, it did not go down.

I am not so inexperienced as to think the curd is in any way okay. But I had never seen anything go bad in a jar before. So what do I do?

I open it.

It fizzed. It fuzzed. It oozed and popped. It was amazing.

I *almost* tasted it, just to see how it tasted. A very, very intelligent thought followed after, saying “Why don’t you just hold the first thought there and evaluate it again in a few minutes.” Go me having intelligent thoughts that corral the stupid ones!

I opened the second jar, to show K. She suggested I throw it out. And not even try to save the jar. I agreed. Who knew if it is actually the Big Bad B, but why take chances?

But I had to open the third one too, so I could show you.

Bad, Bad Blackberry Curd from furblescout on Vimeo.

Why Louis Pasteur was a genius.

The microphone isn’t that great, but even as you are unscrewing the lid, it sounds like a soda bottle ready to go off. It’s amazing.

I’m rather excited I still have blackberries left in the freezer.

The lemon curd seems to be okay, probably because the acid (and sugar) content is so much higher. I opened a jar, and it seems to not have increased in volume (good sign), still smell like lemon (good sign), and not at all make soda-noises when opened (good sign).

I think, however, I’ll give the glorious bride-to-be and IOU.


5 thoughts on “The Day I Tried to Kill My Friends with Botulism

  1. this is why you process just every thing you don’t put into the icebox, in it’s boiling water bath…increases the seal and gets rid of more of the bacteria…only, probably it was not botulism, but plain old icky bacterias…won’t kill you, but you may wish you were dead once they hit your GI system…you’ll notice, in all my recipes going up now on line for preserving foods, that I boil em half to death by the stream after their lids are on. it’s worth the LACK of worry!!! Kat

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