Ok, this is several questions in one about homemade jam.
My friend gave me some homemade jam about 3 weeks ago. It's one of those big pint jars, which I knew I wouldn't be able to finish, so I asked them to give me the jar that they already partly used up.
They canned the jars, did the sterilization process, etc. etc.
This morning, I had some with my yogurt, and I noticed after the fact that one of the areas had already developed mold. Ugh.
So my questions (since I can never seem to finish a jar of jam without it molding)
1. Will I die from botulism from this morning's experience?
2. The mold typically grows on areas of jam that are either stuck on the walls, etc. Maybe I missed this, since we never really did this while growing up, but am I supposed to meticulously scrape off any remnants of jam off the walls of my jars every time I have jam?
3. I hate wasting food, but I hate the idea of dying from botulism even more. :) Can I just discard the area that was contaminated with mold and then proceed using the other uncontaminated areas?
4. I don't think my jam-eating rate is that ridiculously slow, but all of the homemade jams I've ever received (except this one plum jam that I receive from my friend every year) have never lasted more than a month or two before it starts to mold. Is there a way to prevent this? I just made pint-sized containers of apricot jam, and I'm afraid to open it lest it start to mold before I manage to finish it all.
FYI, these are full-on sugared jams.
The Jam Idiot