Tag Archives: jam

Thank you, thankyouverymuch

26 Sep

I tried to type that in my best Elvis accent.


I finally got off my keister and made the canned goods I planned to make!  My two recipes yielded 4 jars of Pickled Squash and 5 of Pear Honey.  If you remember, the pear honey made it into the county fair back in 2012 and sold for $70.  Not Texas State Fair worthy, mind you, but a start for someone who had only been canning/preserving for less than a month!

Anyway, it’s been one of the most popular amongst my friends and was a natural choice when deciding what I wanted to give away as thank you gifts.  The second choice seemed the least time-intensive of most of the pickle recipes and I had yet to conquer the pickle realm.


And so, I give you…my goods!

photo(5)Yeah, I know, not the best photo…but it will have to do.  The squash was surprisingly easy to make and I did it first since it took the longest.  You can find the pear honey post here.  I’ll share the pickles recipe because I think canning/preserving is a lost art (though there are many who still do it) and it it easy to do.  You need no special canning equipment other than pots and pans!


Pickled Squash

  • 8 Cups sliced squash (think pickle chips)
  • 2 TBSP salt
  • 3 cups vinegar
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups chopped onion
  • 3 bell peppers (green or red give the best colors)
  • 2 tsp mustard seed

Sprinkle squash with salt and let stand one hour.  Except for the squash, mix everything else and bring to a boil.  Drain water off squash; add to boiling liquid.  Bring to boil again and cook an additional minute.  Then put in jars and seal.  Yield: 5 pints.

Grandma’s Notes: 10/1/99- 52 degrees at 8:45; walked to Lance’s driveway and back.  The four-o’clocks are so pretty since the rain.  10/3/99- Zach came; visited and talked about some of his future plans.  Crocheted, read, and picked up pecans.  I BRING MY LIFE TO YOU LORD BECAUSE I KNOW WHATEVER IS WRONG IN IT, YOU CAN FIX IT, AND I WILL BE WHOLE AGAIN.


I just realized that the above journal entries are almost right back where I needed them for the time of year.  I guess I planned that just right.

Jam Session

5 May

While enjoying my new-found love for the television show Glee, I realized I needed to get back on the cooking ball (so to speak).  I recently spent a few days in Boston, and was unable to cook while there.  I wish I had.  Boston is expensive to visit.  I could have easily made all the recipes I missed, just by not eating out.  But, no biggie.  Here I am…back at it!


This cake is really good.  I think that if I actually had the three layer pans it calls for, the end result would have been even better.  I made-do with what I have and it still tastes good!  I think I would omit the raisins and perhaps use fresh blackberries instead of nuts.  The recipe, as-is, though works fine.  The end result is just a little different than what I would expect.

Jam Cake (with Caramel Frosting)

  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup blackberry jam (I used seedless)
  • 4 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp cinnamon (I didn’t have nutmeg, so I doubled this)
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tsp soda
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 cup nuts

Cream butter and sugar.  Beat eggs and jam.  Add to creamed mixture; sift flour, salt, and spices.  Mix buttermilk and soda.  Add alternately with flour mixture to the creamed  mixture.  Add raisins and nuts.  Pour into three 9-in layer pans.  Bake at 350 for about 25 minutes.  Once cooled, put together with caramel frosting.

before icing

caramel frosting

  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 TBSP butter
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla

Use two sauce pans.  Melt one cup of sugar in a small pan.  In a large pan, start the remainder of sugar and milk to cooking.  When sugar is melted, pour gradually into milk mixture, stirring constantly so as not to curdle.  Continue cooking until syrup forms a soft ball when tried in cold water.  Add butter and remove from fire.  Allow to cool until lukewarm.  Add vanilla and beat until creamy and of right consistency to spread on cake.

*Make sure you heat the milk and sugar enough to be close to the temperature of the other sugar.  Otherwise, when you add the sugar, it hardens instantly and sticks to your spoon/whisk.  When it is near the right temperature, the milk/sugar mix will bubble up when the sugar is added.  It then becomes a beautiful amber color.

Look at that!


Since I stole a piece from the corner, the icing took that space over.  Whomever gets those pieces near the corner will have a sweet treat!  I couldn’t resist cutting a piece for myself and I just took the icing a drizzled it over the cake.


A little crumbly, but still delicious.  Also, the baking time needed to be almost 20 minutes longer, since I used one large pan.  The cake, overall was a bit drier than I would have liked.  However, the tops and sides were almost caramelized and were a great crunchy texture.


Grandma’s Notes: 5/5/95- The elders need to be examples to the younger couples.  Francis Moore brought a pineapple coconut pie and visited for a while; pie was so good.  Anthony and B.J. McCurdy won the tennis tournament in Nacogdoches.  THANK YOU LORD FOR MY EVERYDAY BLESSINGS.  HELP ME FOLLOW YOUR PLANS FOR ME.

Witty Marmalade

12 Jan

“Wit ought to be a glorious treat like caviar; never spread it about like marmalade.”Noel Coward

This quick recipe was concocted by myself and an older patient of mine.  She was talking about a marmalade she made with calamondins.  If you have never seen or heard of them, they are little, tiny orange-like citrus fruits known for a sweet peel and sour meat.  So sour, in fact, I consider it the “War Head” of the citrus world…you know, those little round sour candies that make you salivate like Pavlov’s dogs?!

Anyway, I figured I would apply what little canning knowledge I have at this point and try to “cook down” the fruits in an effort to enjoy them at a later date.  Here’s the result:

Calamondin preserves?

I’m not really sure what the final product will be like: conserve, jam, marmalade, etc.  The flavor (off the spoon) is initially sweet with a tart/bitter/sour hind-note.  The orange flavor is amazing (as I am typing, the seal just “popped”) and the color is even more beautiful.  I’m interested to see how much this sets up and thickens.  I know that there is a setting point for jams, but I’m not that far in my experience yet.  But, I’m sure the fruit pieces will be good with biscuits or toast and I might throw the liquid over chicken or pork.  We’ll see…


Stay tuned for Grandma’s next recipe later this evening: Strawberry Cake!  YUM!