My husband has a ‘problem.’ A small, addiction if you will. I have tried to be understanding and patient, but it is difficult at times. He says he can stop anytime he wants to, but isn’t that what all addicts say? What is this poor man addicted to you ask?
Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
He eats one every single day as he drives to work at the crack of dawn. Let me reiterate: EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. I don’t buy him cereal anymore, because he won’t eat it. If I purchase instant oatmeal, he might bring it to work and eat it for lunch. When it’s morning time the man has got to have his PB and J.
Here is my shameful, secret confession: I am an enabler. I encourage him to eat the peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. You see, not only do I buy the peanut butter, but I MAKE THE JAM.
I am a jam maker. I love to jam. (And here you thought I only into tomatoes.) Last year was my first time making serious jam. (Serious as in 26 jars of assorted sizes, not serious as in jam that is very stern and sober, because what kind of jam would that be?) I made ordinary strawberry jam, raspberry-strawberry jam, triple berry jam, and zucchini jam. One day, if you’re very good, I’ll explain the deliciousness that is zucchini jam, but let me just say this: it contains jello. Okay, wipe that drool off your chin.
This year I decided to bust out the fancy jam recipes. Last year was spent learning the jam basics. This year I’m mastering jam art.
Look at the beautifulness.
On the left we have Raspberry-Strawberry jam with a hint of lime. I must state here for the record that it is the bee’s knees. It tastes reassuringly familiar but with a small kick of surprising flavor. Here is where I got the recipe.
In the middle is the White Peach with Ginger jam. The day I made this jam, I kept squealing, “It’s just so pretty!” and my daughters danced around shouting “It’s PINK! It’s PINK!” My son merely rolled his eyes and looked towards the heavens in disgust of all things female. But even he admits it’s delicious, despite it pinkness.
Finally, the jam on the right is Raspberry and White Peach jam. The peaches cut the tartness of the raspberries and makes the whole jam a sweet vehicle of scrumptiousness. Plus, you have to admit just saying the words “white peach” makes it sound so gourmet. Martha would be so proud.
This year in my pursuit of jam art, I am avoiding the use of pectin, for the most part. Last year I used pectin to make my jams thicken without adding a bunch of sugar. Which is healthy and noble and so forth.
This year I say to heck with healthy eating. Bring on the sugar! As a result my jams are much brighter in color and have more of a ‘sparkle’ when you taste them. I’m sure next year, after I’ve contracting diabetes from eating all this delicious sugary jam I will be somewhat regretful. But if watching Pleasantville over and over during my brief obsession with Tobey Maguire has taught me anything, it is that bright vivid colors trump drabness any day of the week. Viva the sugar coma!
My goal is to make forty jars of jam this season. That is some super serious jamming my friends. However, it is necessary. Not only must I supply the needs of my PB and J addicted husband, but I have three small junior PB and J addicts-in-training as well. And what sort of mother would I be if I didn’t enable them too?
Wish me luck gentle readers, I’ve got 20 jars done, ‘only’ 2o more to go. Anyone want to share with me their favorite jam?