A gazillion years ago, Grandma Helen taught me how to make my first batch of jam. It was strawberry. The way Grandma Helen does it is she puts jam into all sorts of jars/containers, etc... and seals it with paraffin. I don't do it like that. It kind of makes me nervous (even though I grew up eating paraffin sealed jam my entire life, probably daily, and I'm still alive). While I do have paraffin, I don't feel like dedicating a pan to the process. It's just easier for me to water bath them. The other thing is she uses pectin. I didn't feel like paying $4. for it. Besides, I'm sure people back in the olden days were not running up to their mercantile every 5 minutes for pectin. They just relied on the natural and called it good. I think. Don't quote me on that. I actually have no idea. Just seems logical to me.
At any rate, jam making is easy peasy. And an affordable way for me to provide my kids with non-high fructose corn syrup jam. There's still plenty of sugar for those of you who think I'm mean by not wanting them to eat hfcs.
Blueberry Rhubarb Jam8 Cups of blueberries
4 Cups of Rhubarb (I chopped it fairly small.)
4 Cups of Sugar
The Juice of a Lemon
The Grated Rind of the Same Lemon
1 Cup of Water
Smash up the blueberries pretty good and then put everything in a large pot. (The sugar is supposed to be added later, but I was off in lala land and put it in with everything before it boiled. Nothing bad happened.) Bring it to a boil. Once it starts boiling, stir it for 15 minutes or so (while it boils) until it's gelled to the consistency you want it to be. Skim the foam. (There wasn't any foam with this batch.) Stir jam to evenly distribute fruit prior to putting it in jars. Put in jars, seal and hot water bath for 5-10 minutes.
*To check to see if it has gelled, I keep a spoon in ice water. Take a spoonful and let it come to room temperature. Or cheat and use the freezer to quickly cool it.
Makes 8 half pints
There's always some leftover that's not enough to fill another jar. That goes in the fridge and is the meter for which one uses to measure if more is going to need to be made. The kids ate it all today. Breakfast, lunch and dinner. We'll probably need a second batch. :-)
See that little gadget down there? It's my favorite kitchen gadget. It's an antique jar lifter. I just love that thing.
Ryan's dinner was roasted red pepper hummus with vegetables and a sprouted grain tortilla. Evidently it is "ridiculously good". I usually make hummus, but I've been lazy lately and the last few tubs came from the store. I like those just fine, but they seem a little "processed" to me.
Besides, that stuff at the store is too expensive.
And you can make it yourself in about 2 minutes. For real.
1 can of chickpeas drained and rinsed
2 cloves of garlic
the juice of a lemon
1/2 tsp of salt
1/2 cup of tahini
Throw it all in the food processor and process it. I don't like mine creamy and airy like the ones from the store, but I bet the vitamix would have done that for me. I added a half of jar of roasted red peppers from Trader Joes to mine. This recipe makes a good bit. Way more than one of those little tubs from the store.