Pour some sugar on me

by Lesley on October 3, 2010 · 6 comments

in cooking

At work I’ve been reading a lot of food blogs in preparation for a conference I’m attending this week called BlogHer Food in San Francisco. I’m really excited to go because it’s one of the largest blog conferences for foodies. I realize I’m not a food blogger, nor will I probably ever be, but after visiting so many amazing food blogs I got inspired to create my own post about a recent adventure in the kitchen.

A few weeks ago, after months of talking about it, I finally made jam. Joy was visiting from Portland, so Sharon and I dragged her to Old Soul at Forty Acres for breakfast, followed by a quick visit to the Oak Park Farmer’s Market for ingredients. We decided to see what the market had in stock before determining what type of jam we’d make. We settled on a strawberry peach jam. Unlike professional chefs, we had no recipe in mind so we guessed at the amount of produce we’d need. Probably not the smartest idea when you’re making jam…but…whatever.

Next we ran over to Target for Mason jars, as evidenced by this photo of me grinning like a Cheshire cat.

We came back to my apartment, much to Jonathan’s excitement, and took over the kitchen while he resumed his typical Saturday morning position on the couch. Joy made guacamole for us to devour while Sharon and I started prepping the fruit.

After looking at several recipes, we decided to make up our own version of jam. Surely we wouldn’t need as much sugar as the recipes called for, right? (It was SOOO much sugar!) We soon found out that, yes, jam needs lots of sugar to get thick. We stirred, and stirred, and stirred for a loooooong time. Joy managed to burn herself about 18 times through this process.

Finally we were able to pour and then seal the jam up using a nifty contraption I bought at Target.

Surprisingly, the jam turned out really well. Jonathan and I already finished our first jar. I’m already dreaming about a visit to Apple Hill in a few weeks so I can try my hand at apple butter and applesauce.

Sweet treat!

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6 comments
Lesley Miller
Lesley Miller

Natalie- so good to know you use less sugar too! I love hearing about your jam tradition with your mom. Alysun- thanks for the advice about getting new lids. I definitely didn't know that. I think I could get addicted to canning if I had the right tools. Right now my tiny kitchen and lack of space makes it tough.

Natalie
Natalie

I always use less sugar. And you know? I have gotten used to runny jam! I tell myself that I'm doing better by my body, and I think it tastes more fruity! My mom and I make it every year, but this year we won't see each other until Christmas, so she's freezing raspberries for us to make then.

Beth
Beth

This makes me want to can now!

alysun
alysun

So fun. Come visit and I'll show you how to can everything under the sun. I'm making tomato jam today (like a spread you use on sandwiches -- never tried it before but the reviews are good). The great thing about canning is that the jars can be used over and over again. You need to get new lids each time, but those are cheap. Most of my produce is free, so it is really economical. Careful though, canning is completely addicting!

Ashlee
Ashlee

Christine and I were just talking about having a canning party...I think homemade jam would make excellent Christmas gifts! You'll have to join us ;)

Lisa
Lisa

YUM! I have been wanting to try this too. Oh and Apple Hill is calling my name if this weather would turn to match the season! :) Huge props for homemade jam! BTW a friend of mine just made it for the first time too, and she made mention of the ENORMOUS amount of sugar it takes!