Thursday, November 20, 2008


I may never make jelly again and it is all Curmudgeon's fault. I have made jelly all my cooking life. We have plums that make a very pretty ruby red jelly and black berries that make the best jelly for biscuits ever. Last night I made jam.

I am pretty sure everyone is pretty sick of me yammering on and on about the green tomatoes. Well, the situation is pretty much handled with the green tomato jam and green tomato pickles. There are a couple of bowls of large green tomatoes that will get ripe over time. The little ones are all used up.

Jelly is complicated to make. Cut up the fruit, cook it, then figure out the messiest way possible to remove the fruit from the juice. Then add tons of sugar and some sort of pectin. My kitchen looks like a fruit and sugar bomb has gone off in it every time I make jelly. A T-shirt is ruined by juice stains during each and every jelly making session. I often get half done jelly in my hair - Don't ask.

Jam was so easy. Cut up the fruit, add sugar, and any other ingredients that sound good. Let that sit for a while as the sugar draws out the fruits juices. Then cook it down until it thickens. All the fruit stays in the jam. No fruit goes to the compost pile. Jam is yummy and has a nice texture.

All that jam making reminded me of a song from a long time ago. I have not heard it in years. Thanks to the interweb I was able to find the words.
Saturday morning found me itching
To get on over to my grandma's kitchen
[And what you gonna do, honey]
The sweetest little berries was cooking up right
And then we'd put them in a canning jar and seal them up tight
We were making jam
[What kind?]
Strawberry jam, that's what kind
[Aw, the good kind]
Yeah, if you want the best jam
You gotta make your own
We have Smucker's, Welches, Knotts Berry Farm
But a little homemade jam never did a body no harm
A little local motion is all we need
To close down these corporate jam factories
We'll be making jamStrawberry jam, mmmm-mm
If you want the best jamYou gotta make your own
(Make that jam Doc, show 'em how it's done)
Yeah, we have a little revolution sweeping the land
Now once more everybody's making homemade jam
So won't you call your friends up on the telephone
You invite 'em on over, you make some jam of your own
You'll be making jamStrawberry jam
If you want the best jam
You gotta make your own

Anybody else like to make jam?


  1. Yum! Jam is not as beautiful as jelly, which is why we love jelly, I guess. But jam sure is good! Give me (seedless, please) black raspberry or blackberry jam or a luscious tart cherry or apricot preserves (also easy, and also with all the good fruit in it) any day! Love the song, too.

  2. I guess that does sound a bit easier than jelly was. I only cooked the apple jelly, not the raspberry so that must have been jam.

    Glad to hear the tomato explosion is now under control.

  3. Mmmm...I love jam, and homemade is the best. My grandparents had two huge apricot trees and their homemade jam was the best ever. I've only tried freezer jam, but I would love to try the real thing someday.

  4. I'm a jamoholic, love to make then and I do love a piece of nice toast with home made jam. Very nice post Aunt Debbi. Have you tried Rose hip jam? That is a favorite of mine/ xoxo Tyra

  5. I got so tired of hearing you go on about your maters that I posted something on you--look on my sidebar to find it...or just scroll down the page.

    Looks like jamming is the answer.

  6. Yummm. I, too have tomatoes coming out of my ears - red and green. Maybe I will make tomato jam. I had some once in a hotel restaurant that was really tasty -- you've inspired me...I want jam in my hair, too!

  7. Next time, try this: put some white chocolate chips into the hot jam and stir until it all melts. For 5 cups of fruit I throw in about 1 cup of chips; if that's not decadent enough, add up to 1/4 cup of Godiva white chocolate liquer. You can just spread it all over manly man when it's cool, and....oh, never mind, I digress!
    ANYWAY...It leaves the jam a very creamy, spreadable texture and tastes like heaven. I actually have a recipe I nabbed off of the internet, and I've adjusted it to my own taste. Doing a post on it is on my "to do" list; just never got that far!

  8. I must say I prefer jam - I can't see the point of throwing away perfectly good fruit after straining. Also jam is easier to make, far less hassle. Lovely stuff!

  9. I prefer Jam to Jelly, but have never made it. :)

  10. I'm altogether too clumsy to try my hand at something that messy. I truly enjoy Simplify's ( Pepper Jelly. It isn't cheap, about $5 for 16 oz. But I eat on it most everyday for months. It's ingredients are: Pure cane sugar, sweet peppers, pecans, vinegar, fruit pectin, and Scotch bonnet peppers. If you can come up with one like that, let me know. You'll have my business.

  11. Hi ofb, I am getting into a whole new area of canning with this jam thing.

    Cinj, the difference is that the fruit is in the jam not just the juice, I think.

    Amy, Apricot jam sounds awesome. I want to try making the freezer jam too.

    Brenda, Maybe you could make it like Nola suggested earlier. Just buy store bought jam, melt it, and add the other ingredients. I am going to do that with my habanero peppers adding them to apple jelly.

    Tyra, I have not tried rose hip jam, but I do love rose hip tea.

    Anna, I read that post and laughed til my sides hurt.

    Diana, The recipe Curmudgeon put on on weed wackin wenches is really good. Even the monkeys like it.

    Nola, you made Manly Man blush. He was reading over my shoulder. That does sound good.

    Easygardener, I don't know why i have thrown away all that fruit for all these years. What a waste. I did compost it, so I don't have total guilt.

    Racquel, I just never had jam before I made it myself. Now I won't go back. It really was easy to make.

  12. I know that song! I have that song! It's Michelle Shocked and Doc Watson. We've never made jelly but it sounds like a very messy process. While I love the beautiful colors of jellies, I love the hunks of fruit in my jam. Glad the monkeys liked it!

  13. Curmudgeon, You got the song right. I am really happy you encouraged me to try something new.