Making your own jam is stupid easy and – as it happens – totally worth it


Pump up the jam – no really, do.

Because nothing tickles the sweet spot like fruity preserves – on toast, an English muffin, a warm biscuit, whatever. Yum. If it’s homemade? Even better – YUM, all caps. And you may not believe it, but it’s easy to do. Who knew?

Everyone, apparently. The foodie universe, for one. Do-it-yourselfers. Even TV characters. Like “Scandal”-ous ex-lovers Olivia and Fitz, who dreamed of jam bubbling on the stove in their Vermont fantasy home. And on “Friends,” Monica tried selling her own blackberry-currant jam to get over a guy.

Still, I wasn’t ready for this jelly, even though my kitchen is my comfort zone. It’s where I’m organized, content, adventurous. But acting like Ma on “Little House on the Prairie” and putting up preserves left me cold. Until I finally gave it a shot – and cooked up a batch of raspberry jam. Misconceptions fell away one by one:

* It’s hard – No, it’s not. The recipe I adapted was a breeze, no pectin required. Just equal measures fresh raspberries and granulated sugar, a squeeze of lemon, a pot, a stove. You can do that.

* It takes all day – No, it took an hour. That includes shopping, cooking, cleaning up and labeling a jar for my jewel-toned treat. You can spare it.

* It costs a fortune – No, not really. Even if Monica cracked that she’d “need to charge seventeen bucks a jar just to break even.” Buy fruit when it’s plentiful or on special. The sugar’s in your pantry.

Besides, jam from the store isn’t cheap – and there’s one thing missing in it that yours will be packed with – bragging rights.

by Joe Dziemianowicz –