Saturday, 1 August 2009

Jam Exchange

"We all have a song that somehow stamped our lives, takes us to another place and time..." So says Kenny Chesney. And it's true. Music can totally snap you back to a time. I know that every time I hear the sweater song by weezer I think of the dance my friend from HS made to that song. Hilarious.
Well, I think the same can be said for food. Taste, just like sound, can trigger memories. Gingerbread to me (and probably lots of people) is almost like the ghost of Christmas past, reminding me of all of the Christmases of yon.

The same is true for homemade jam.
I *LOVE* homemade jam. Lovelovelove.
As a child, we almost exclusively ate homemade jam. I remember making it with my mom. Standing on a chair because I wasn't tall enough to see into the pot otherwise, wearing an old apron, stirring the big pot. Oh childhood. Good memories.

And maybe that's why I went a little bit overboard after I signed up to do stephchows jam exchange.
Sure. I could have just made one type of jam... but after I bought all these cute jars... and I saw all this yummy fruit on sale... there was just no stopping me! Besides, just like in my childhood, when I used to give jam to my teachers for Christmas, I figured jam would make great gifts.
So armed with fruit, sugar and lemons I was ready to go! And go I did.

These are the jams I gave in the exchange. And the dishtowel too. (post pending). I sent some strawberry (Don't worry W. Yours is safe and sound.), strawberry rhubarb (simply divine on TJ froyo), and blackberry blueberry.

I made those back when I signed up for the exchange.
But I couldn't stop there. No. That would be too easy. And, well, as I've already shown... I'm crazy. So this morning I made cherry and every-berry-I-had-left-in-the-fridge-plus-a-peach jam. Fabulous! If I do say so myself.
Um... I didn't really follow a recipe. (I hear those gasps out there. No. Really. It's okay.) For all of them I just cut up a lot of fruit, put it in a pot, added the rind and juice of one lemon (two for the rhubarb jam because rhubarb is naturally low in pectin... or so google told me) then added two cups of sugar and let it cook for 40-45 min, stirring ever so often.
(If you get bored, as I did, just go grab the book you're in the middle of to read while you stir. I'm so all about multi-tasking.) Once it passes the plate in the freezer test, I was done. (Don't worry... I did all those sterilizing steps too.)

But all in all, a fantastically fun and tasty experience. And I suggest trying it to anyone out there! It is soo good, and really very easy to do. Try it!

Now I can't wait to see what kind of jam I get in the mail. :)


stephchows said...

AWESOME!!! You rock girl! Totally above and beyond :) The person sending you jam is AMAZING, she was actually my first exchange partner last year so I know she'll treat you well!

Anonymous said...

I just found your blog and see that you were the person who sent me my jam and pot holder--which was so cute it made the cut on our 200 lb limit of luggage on our move to Brazil! Thanks so much, the jam was AMAZING!!