Our household has not bought a single jar of jam since soon after we moved into this house, more than five years ago. This became a matter of some pride to me once I discovered how easy and inexpensive jam is, especially when using berries that were homegrown or foraged. Flushed with my new knowledge, I embarked on a slightly insane amount of jam-making. Blackberry, strawberry, rhubarb, raspberry, plum, apricot, plus combinations thereof, conserves, marmalades, fruit butters… We’ve eaten a lot of jam, and a great many jars have been stocked away on the ledge above our kitchen cabinets.
Imagine my chagrin, then, when I stood on a chair recently and realized that we were down to exactly two jars each of some of our least favorite varieties: apple butter and peach jam.
But all was not lost. I still have about fifteen gallons of fruit in the freezer, and although berries have not yet graced my garden this year, rhubarb has. And, as I mentioned, jam is easy. With all those batches under my belt, I had no fear of bringing out every saucepan in the house and doing four batches at once.
The real beauty of this situation, though, is that, after years of knowing that I had a jam overstock and ought to dial back, I now have a really good reason to start experimenting again. Blackberry peach! Apple raspberry! And man, I can’t wait for apricot season…