Friday, September 20, 2013

Planning on a Jam-Free 2014

I made my first jam I don't know how many years ago back in the 'burbs using mulberries pilfered from trees located along a hiking trail to the park.  It was marvelous.

Then we moved here and I've been making jams or jellies out of just about any fruit or berry I can get my grubby paws on.  Wild grape, Strawberry, blueberry, blackberry, raspberry, apple, persimmon, peach, pear.

It helps that we're a family of sweet-tooths (sweet teeths??).  And it also helps that jams and jellies are one of the easiest things to preserve.  So to say that I've made a ton of jams during our time here at Krazo Acres would be a bit of an understatement.  Some are immediately eaten, some are given away as gifts and the rest are stored in the pantry for later consumption.

This year was the first year I made peach jam.  My Mom's peach trees were loaded, so I got a bunch from her, as well as the freebie seconds peaches from the produce guy at the Farmers Market.  Then my awesome peach trees started producing, so once we ate our fill of fresh peaches, the others were put into the freezer to process at a hopefully-not-much-later time.   After making and tasting the peach jam, I excitedly exclaimed to any and everyone that I met that it was the best jam I've ever tasted.

Then our pear trees started dropping pears here & there.  So I did what I normally do with a sudden windfall of fruit; made them into jam.  And I now renege on my earlier peach-jam statement.  My pear jam is the best jam I've ever tasted.  Don't get me wrong.  Blueberry jam (what used to be my number one always love awesomeness jam) will always hold a special place in my heart, but this batch of cinnamon pear jam I made is to stinking die for.

So far I've made ten jars.  Two of which I've given away already, two of which have made their way into our maws and the other six are sitting pretty in the pantry.  Sitting pretty along with another 45 pint jars and 12 of those little jelly jars of various flavors.

Yes, I said we have over fifty jars of jelly in the pantry.  OMG.  I'm a jelly hoarder!   They aren't all from this year though; I actually have about a dozen jars from 2011 so those got pulled to the front.  I just finished canning the last of the pears not ten minutes ago (not jam, just pears!!) so they are finished, but I still have about ten pounds of strawberries in the freezer along with another ten pounds of peaches, I still have to pick the wild grapes and the persimmons are patiently awaiting the first frost.
Some of the jelly / jam shelves.  There are others still awaiting
placement in the pantry.  As soon as I make room (i.e. eat more).
I think I may need to start making PB&J's for every meal.  For like the next six months.


  1. I, too, used to be a jam hoarder. But now, with no prospect of a decent piece of bread passing these lips, my jam days are over. Thank god. I think I still have jam from 2008. Hmmm. Maybe a nice grapy glaze over a ham?

  2. I use it to mix with plain yogurt, tastes better than anything in the store

  3. It won't be long Carolyn until those jams will be worth their weight in GOLD. Not so much the old jams themselves but being able to produce lots of surplus will mean a way to live as this painfully slow collapse continues.

    Even if you slow down your actual production you are still way ahead of the game.

  4. Carolyn,

    The jam doesn't last long in our home. My husband brings his lunch every day to work, and I usually pack him two PB&J sandwiches. Then we have our weekends, we pack or make PB & J's. We've saved all kinds of money just eating PB&J's when ever possible. I try to keep canning jam on top of everything else. If I could, I would hoard the jam in the pantry.

  5. I think maybe jam hoarding runs in bloggers' veins. The most I ever made in one year (and this figure is burned into my brain) was 104 jars. Pints and half-pints. True, we were poor as church mice and ate a lot of PB and Js. (Ha! That was when peanut butter was economical. Not any more!) Plus hubby took a PB and J sandwich in his lunch everyday. There were the three of us and we had a 19 year old gal living with us. And a jar of jam (or 4) was a good gift 'cause it didn't involve an outlay of $$. Like you, I LOVE making jam although I've had to cut down drastically since it's just the two of us now (still give some for gifts) and our maturing (ahem) bodies don't allow so much sugar intake anymore. Hubby uses jam for sweetener in his kefir smoothies all the time though.

    So you go, Girl! Jars of a variety of jams lined up on pantry shelves are a beautiful thing.

  6. Well Carolyn if you run out of places to ship your jam to we would like to see some in our mailbox! :-)

  7. It all sounds so good and looks pretty too. I've been making fig preserves and grape jelly. But I did notice the persimmons on the trees in the sheep pasture last week. Do you share your recipe? I'd love to make some with all those persimmons soon.

  8. What a beautiful sight! I love making jams and jellies almost as much as making bread. I need a dedicated space. Mine are just stored here and there on various shelves.

    You need my family...I try to keep both kids supplied.

  9. I love it! One can never have too many jars of jam and jelly. :)

  10. I'd love to have a recipe for cinnamon pear jam. hint hint

  11. Your jars of jams and jellies all lined up are so pretty! :)
    I made pear jam for the first time this year too and it is really, really awesome!!

  12. Love your jams, they look great. We have been on our small acreage for just 3 1/2 years and I have 2 whole shelves in the walk in pantry filled with jam and bottled fruit and vegetables. I just love the look of it, though if I am truefull we really don't need anymore. But the orchard is full of fruit trees in flower at the moment and I have expanded the vegetable garden....why? Because I love doing it more than housework!!! And it does always make good presents.