Thursday, December 15, 2011


I always find the holiday season to be a bit tricky. We have so many people whom we love and want to get them something to express that. We also have limited funds, so I like to think of homemade gifts. This holiday season, we are giving the gift of Jam, Marmalade and Jelly (oh my!).

I am not an experienced jam maker by any means, so I turned to The Blue Chair Jam Cookbook by Rachel Saunders. It has so many delicious recipes with super easy instructions.
In addition to offering more than 100 original jam, jelly, and marmalade recipes, master jam artisan Rachel Saunders shares all of her technical preserving knowledge, as well as her unique jam maker's perspective on fruit.
Rachel combines nostalgia with a modern, sustainable approach to creating fresh and vividly flavored preserves. The recipes are divided into chapters based on the seasons, and each chapter is organized by month and type of fruit.

I decided to go big or go home. My family members all love tomatoes and citrus fruits, so we made Early Girl Tomato Marmalade as gifts. The taste is amazing. I recently served it for a little gathering with some goat cheese and toast. The guest were raving and I was secretly smiling knowing they would all be getting their own jar for the holidays.

My daughter was desperate to help, so we made the tried and true Strawberry Jam together. She stirred (using our fabulous Michael Ruhlman Acacia Paddles), and I supervised. She decided we could only give a jar or two away since it was "too delicious" to give up. Our next jam making session will be the Blueberry Mint Jam. I can finally "preserve" the season.

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