Then I saw this recipe for raspberry basil jam in an issue of O Magazine. It looked easy enough, so I tried it. WOAH! Not only was it easy, it was incredibly delicious, too. In fact, it was way better than anything I had ever bought at a store.
Once I learned that water bath canning wasn’t that hard, either, it was all over. No longer constrained by lack of space in my freezer, I could start making all sorts of jams. Last year I made two kinds of jam, and since then, it’s just exploded.
It’s a good thing that jam makes good gifts, or my family and I might be living off the stuff all winter.
My most recent batch came about because of the roughly 10 pounds of Italian plums Butter and I rescued from a tree overhanging the road in Lyons. Let me just tell you that even when you split that kind of bounty in half, five pounds is a LOT of plums to be dealing with.
I made some baby food, but unless I expected her to be eating pureed plums until she’s 12, I needed another plan. I ended up dividing the remaining plums and making two batches of jam: one plum vanilla and one plum with ginger and cardamom. And they both turned out delicious!
The moral of the story is this: it takes less time and effort than you think to whip up a batch of jam and preserve it. If you have a large stock pot, you can do pints, half pints or smaller with no trouble. And because of all the sugar, jam is one of the easiest and safest things you can learn to can.
So get out there and grab the last of the year’s glut of fruit before it’s all gone and whip up some jams for a beautiful and tasty gift.
Total Price: $1.47 each
$2.61 for six cups organic sugar
$0.83 each for five Ball pint jars (new)
~$0.50 for ginger, cardamom, and vanilla extract
~$0.25 for low-sugar pectin
FREE! 5 pounds of plums