Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Today's Spice: JAM

The rose hips have been harvested. I'm sad to report that I now understand why farmers use pesticides. I'm not saying I ever will, but there were small worms in many of my rose hips. Also, considering the amount of flowers I had on the bush this year I'm amazed at how few good ripe rose hips I was able to get. Oh, the mysteries of life...

A friend brought by a big bag of rhubarb today (she picked it from her grandma's garden). I loved the jam last time I made it so I made up another batch tonight. Last time I made strawberry rhubarb jam. This time I used what I had with only 1 cup of frozen strawberries in the freezer, 1 cup of frozen blueberries, all the rose hips I could harvest (hardly any), 3 cups of fresh rhubarb, 2 cups of sugar, and 1 gelatin packet. The jam is AWESOME! I put it in an empty pizza sauce jar. (there's more in a second jar)

I just discovered that tomato slices (from ugly tomato) on top of carrot mashed potatoes topped off with cheddar cheese is also AWESOME! I hoped the tomato slices on top would be good because I'm trying to figure out ways to use my garden fruit but I was skeptical. Oh my, I love food way too much.

I think we're going to take a little family walk downtown tonight to watch the musical fountain. Since we live here we NEVER do that. It should be a really nice little family outing.

Average daily spending for August: $17.33


  1. OK, back to language differences here. I make jam - lots of it - but I thought you called jam "jelly". So what is the difference between jam and jelly for you? Or are they interchangeable? (That looks lovely, by the way.)

    1. Jam and Jelly are so similar that I struggled to figure out the difference for most of my childhood. Yes, those are the types of things I pondered regularly as a child. They are different though and Jam is so much better (in my opinion). Jam has the seeds, the skins, and chunks of the fruit in it. It's cooked down nicely but they're definitely in there. Jelly does not. I imagine it's much more difficult to make as it would have to be strained. Jelly is more of a smooth gelatin fruit spread. You must have jam and jelly over there but I imagine you have a different word for jelly or maybe you just call it jam as well?

    2. No, you are using them in the same way as I would but I have many times read recipes on American sites for what I would call jam and they call jelly. Jelly is definitely a smooth translucent product. We have red currant jelly to eat with lamb for example, and bramble and apple jelly is eaten like jam. ((Wild brambles are very seedy!) If it's not strained and still contains at least chunks of fruit it is jam.

      Where we might confuse you is that we have a dessert which is also called Jelly and I think you call that gello - or is it jello?

    3. I think those people who refereed to jam as jelly in a recipe were still asking themselves the same question I did as a child they just never sought out the official answer and call it all jam interchangeably. Although we do have jam or jelly for pretty much any fruit spread. They sell them next to each other at the store. If you don't read the label and just grab a jar you're liable to get whatever your hand landed upon.

      We do have jello and we do not call that jelly. It's a gelatin dessert that was made most popular by the brand jell-o. It's one of those classically american things where a brand makes a thing so popular that we stop calling the thing by it's technical name and call everything by that brand name whether it's the brand or not. You can buy generic gelatin dessert but virtually everyone in the country will still call it jello.

      We have the same for facial tissue which we pretty much all call Kleenex. Bandages that we pretty much all call Baid-aides, Lip balm that many of us refer to as Chapstick, bleach that a lot of people call Clorox, slow cookers that most people call crock-pots; the list goes on and on. It's so silly that a brand can become so large that it takes over the original name of an item and is still used on unbranded things but we have a lot of there here. I wonder if you do too with some of your own brands. Some people refer to pop or soda as Coke... now I think that's ridiculous but especially in the south they just call pop coke (in Michigan we call it pop).

    4. make that band-aide not baid-aide

    5. And if you want to get really confused we have lemonade - but you would call our lemonade soda or so an American friend tells me. You would need to ask for Old Fashioned Lemonade to get what you wanted. Pop can be any variety but Coke has to be Coca Cola - generically it's just cola. Crock pot is recognisable here but we would say slow cooker. We have Elastoplast where you have Band Aid as a generic term but we can also buy Band Aid which we would still call Elastoplast. Band Aid is more associated with celebrity fund raising for the third world.

    6. Your lemonade must be carbonated then? That would certainly be soda (or pop in my case). If it's carbonated then it's pop/ soda. I've never heard of Elastoplast. We definitely speak the same language but it's kind of neat that we have different vocabularies :-)