we’re jammin’


friendly, non-intimidating kitchen

One of my goals is to gain more confidence in the kitchen.

If you’re new to my blog, one of the first things you should know about me is that I’m not a perfectionist.

I just happen to like it when things go perfectly.

I’m not an alarmist either. So when I made tomato jam the other day, I didn’t think about botulism or accidentally poisoning my friends. My jam-filled jars weren’t going to shatter in a pot of boiling water, exploding magnificently in my face. And I never once thought about investing in a welder’s helmet. Or a beekeeper’s outfit (for deep frying: onion rings, chicken, Snickers bars, etc.).

I had to stop procrastinating. I had some beautiful tomatoes I bought at the farmers’ market and I had to do right by them.


So I began at the beginning. I read the “Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving”. Set out the equipment and ingredients. Started chopping.

chopping tomatoes

A few hours later, the tomatoes were cooking nicely on the stove. But wait – my jam looked more like soup! Oh, the horror!! I glanced at the recipe again and it didn’t mention covering the pot with a lid. Which I did. And I shouldn’t have. Doh!!

Another four and a half hours later, the tomatoes finally cooked down and I tried the hot water bath technique for the first time. The jars didn’t shatter. I still have my face and am not going to need plastic surgery (at least not for this reason)!!

Three and a half pounds of tomatoes and eights hours later:

the "fruits" of my labor. sorry. it's my grandpa humor. I realized later that I put pears in the photo when I really should have tomatoes. Good thing I'm not a perfectionist and this is not going to drive  me crazy.

The “fruits” of my labor. Sorry. It’s my grandpa humor. (I realized later that I put pears in the photo when I really should have tomatoes. Good thing I’m not a perfectionist and this is not going to drive me crazy.)

All that work resulted in three, almost four, half-pint jars, two of which I’m planning to give away. Tasted pretty good, if I do say so myself. Kind of sweet, savory, tomatoey, jammy, and other yummy, nonsensical words.

I really hope I don’t poison my friends. If I do, I’ll try to write from prison. They allow free-writing time in there, don’t they? Maybe I can start a canning group! We’re jammin’, jammin’, and I hope they’ll like jammin’, too…



12 thoughts on “we’re jammin’

  1. that sounds like fun. i’m always nervous to try preserving and i probably don’t have that kind of patience but maybe i should add that to one of my to do list.

    ps. i’m glad your face is okay and you didn’t need any medical attention.

    pss. the light in your house looks really nice. i wish i could invite myself over one day. maybe when teletransporting (sp?) makes its debut?

    Liked by 1 person

    • It IS a little nerve-wracking…but maybe you can take baby steps with something that won’t take as much time as the tomato jam!

      I have to admit, the light is really nice here. Please visit me! There are so many great places to take photos…


  2. Your kitchen is so tidy and cute. I want some of that tomato jam! Actually, first tell me if your friends are still alive who tried your jam. 😀

    Lolako’s sister.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi Lolako’s sister!!

      It’s neat and tidy because all of my junk is BEHIND the camera, haha! But I try to keep it orderly because I know how easily and quickly a space can get cluttered.

      Hey, I have an extra jar of tomato jam…wait…I haven’t heard back from my friends yet…could that mean…?????

      Liked by 1 person

  3. We had two freezers in the basement along with walls full of shelving when I was a kid and we spent the summer bottling, canning and freezing. Tomatoes, peaches, you name it. Mom froze eggplant parm and all sorts of fruits. It made the winter more tolerable when you could crack open a jar of sweet syrapy peaches. Enjoy the fruits of your labor! It always seems to taste a little better than store-bought.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s kind of funny how “artisanal” pickling and jamming have become. My mom has been pickling for years.But your family sound like they were epic canners!

      Yes, I agree, eating the food you’ve prepared and stored yourself is much more delicious (and satisfying)!


  4. Looks yummy! I would also love to try making preserves but it sounds complicated with bathing the jars in hot water ect,. I have a tomato pickle recipe of my great great grandmothers that I found amongst my moms recipes that I really should try.

    I’m glad your tomato jam turned out! Look forward to reading about your future culinary adventures!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh my goodness, that looks fantastic, and in all my years (now nearing the time when most probably think of plastic surgery) I’ve never attempted to make jam. Hey, if Jane-in-Training can do it, maybe I can too…

    Great pics — and I actually like the green of the pears in the shot, Jane. And what a relief that you were not injured in any way.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’ve only pickled cucumbers for a few minutes in vinegar, salt, pepper and a touch of sugar before I ate them… does that count? I do love the Korean little side dish pickles, especially kimchee 🙂 or is that fermented and not the same as pickling… We do have pickled green papaya in the Philippines called atchara — yummy too.

    Liked by 1 person

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