Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Merry Christmas?

At holiday time, I've always given away baked goods as gifts. But for the past couple/few years, it's become a little bit more of a chore to do all the baking than something I look forward to doing.

I love making jam. Don't know why, I just find it a very satisfying and enjoyable project. So this summer season, when our berries are prolific, I'm going to make up extra jars of jam to give at Christmas time rather than doing so much holiday baking.

This is the haul from yesterday's two batches of strawberry jam making. Twelve half-pints and three full pints. Hubby wanted to open one at breakfast this morning, but I had to put the kibosh on that as we currently have an open jar of last year's jam in the refrig.

Hope this "new" gift idea pans out. Seems like it should give me extra time for doing things I want to do but never seem to find the time for during the holidays.

So bring on the berries . . . we'll be making LOTSA jam!

21 comments:

Susan said...

So, what are the chances of getting on your Christmas list....? I also love to make jam and preserves. It is so beautiful with all the colors on your pantry shelf. What a bonanza!

Erin said...

I wanted to do that to this year, but I wasn't up to canning jam quite yet since I have to do it outside on the propane burner, I made freezer jam instead!

Conny said...

Ummm, yeah, I'm with Susan: what are the changes of getting on your Christmas list?? So many people bake at Christmas that getting jam would be a nice change. You're forseeing some objections?

The jam looks wonderful. :>)

Yart said...

This past Christmas I gave jams and a loaf of zucchini bread. It was a huge hit. I plan on doing it again this year. I think I am going to try a syrup also to include also

Mama Pea said...

Hi, Susan - Ya know, in the past I've mailed jars of home preserved stuff as Christmas gifts but this morning after mailing a 2 lb. box from here in MN to FL at a cost of $9.27(!!), I decided those days are over!! (But I might make an exception for good blogging buddies! ;o))

Hey, Erin - I know freezer jam is good, but I fill my freezer with so much other stuff, it just makes more sense to can the jams.

Hi, Conny - That's what I was thinking. We all ingest sooo many sweet holiday goodies that a jar of jam could be saved for later in the winter when it might be appreciated more.

Hi, Yart - Now I want to be on YOUR Christmas list! Love zucchini bread.

Fiona said...

Hey... I have a crazy idea: instead of a cookie exchange, where everyone bakes a batch (or two or three -- I once made 8 dozen gingerbread snaps for an exchange!), we could have a preserve exchange! If 5 (or 10, or whatever) bloggers participated, we'd each get 5 (or 10 or whatever) different kinds of preserves??? Who's in?! Of course there's that pesky shipping problem I've got to figure out...
BTW -- the jam looks YUM!

Judy said...

Yummalicious! I did that last year for my kiddos......they have asked for it again only this year could I please put more in the box!

Katidids said...

I just did the same thing with peaches. 22 pints of jam. Tomorrow...the blueberries!

Mama Pea said...

Hey, Fiona - Count me in! Great idea. Half-pint jars? I won't even whine about the shipping cost involved. I promise. :o)

Hi, Judy - What a nice mama you are. Who wouldn't appreciate a gift like that that you put so much of yourself into.

Hi, Katie - Oh, peach jam! Oh. Oh. Oh! Did you grow the peaches or purchase them? We can't even buy good peaches way up here. I'm drooling.

Rainsong said...

I just spent 3 days gathering enough of the wild low-vine PNW wild blackberries for christmas jam. If I get enough more fruit I will also make wild blackberry-lavender jam for christmas. And here I am a shop the week before christmas girl. Maybe I'll make blackberry jelly donuts for Chanukah. Don't know if I'll give those away.

Mama Pea said...

Hi, Rainsong -Omigosh, your blackberry preserves sound SO wonderful! I'm partial to blackberry jam anyway, but we can't grow them here . . . too far north, too cold. I tried them once and the poor little plants struggled valiantly before kicking the bucket. Maybe some day I'll try again if I can figure out a way to put them up against the house or somewhere for more protection.

Rainsong said...

Maybe you should be on my Christmas list . These were all bird plant on the bluff just outside of my gait. I am blessed. My boys thought I should use their climbing gear to get the fruit but did not offer to get it for me….humm.

Mama Pea said...

Hi, Rainsong - I would promise to be a very, very good girl from now until Christmas. Honest. I'll try really hard!

Tell the boys: No help, no jam! ;o)

Jenyfer Matthews said...

Another request to be on your Christmas list :) Or maybe it can be my "pass it on" item - just a suggestion!

As for peaches, two summers in a row I've gotten cases of canning peaches from Canada at your local grocery store. We've eaten them fresh instead and they've been excellent. Just thought I'd throw that out there in case you find yourself with some spare time!

Mama Pea said...

Hi, Jen - What a great suggestion for your "pass it on" gift. I've been truly wracking my brain trying to think of what would be appropriate for you. I had more than one thing in mind but then realize they're all COTTON and the difficulties that presents getting it into Egypt. Now I know what to do!

Regarding the peaches in the grocery store, I have bad reactions to food grown with inorganic sprays so have to stick to those labeled (and hope for the best!) "organic." The peaches available at our organic co-op are so expensive you have to stop at the bank on the way to the store to get a loan (!) and I've had terrible luck finding good ones even then. :o(

Teri said...

Wow - those jars are beautiful! I know I would be happy to receive one as a gift - I'm sure everyone will. :D

Jenyfer Matthews said...

Don't stress yourself! It's not a problem to get cotton into Egypt unless you are trying to bring the equivalent of the contents of a small fabric store as I was attempting to do when I moved here. Normal regular stuff is no problem - not that I'm trying to change your mind from the jam however!!!

Mama Pea said...

Hi, Teri - Don't laugh, but I think part of the reason I like making jam so much is looking at it in the jars!

Hi, Jen - Oops, I was under the assumption you couldn't get ANYTHING cotton in. I thought that's what happened to the little Christmas thingie I sent you. I figured they "X-rayed" it or something and saw that it was cotton! Thanks for the clarification

Jenyfer Matthews said...

I think the quilted ornament went astray because someone in the Egyptian post office either saw that fat envelope and decided that maybe THEY would enjoy the contents or (more likely) they just couldn't be bothered to deliver it. You never know though - maybe it will show up one day. Stranger things have happened!

Kim said...

Love the idea of making them for Christmas in summer. I did try that a few years ago with the most wonderful whipped honey (that I didn't make). However, they disappeared one by one before Christmas got here. Then my hubby told his sisters that he ate their present somewhere in October. We don't usually do sibling gifts in our family so it wasn't a big deal. We all got a kick out of it. I wonder, if I try this again, where can I hide them?

Mama Pea said...

Hi, Kim - I don't know where to suggest you hide your Christmas preserves, but I think it sounds like you might need to put a lock on the area!

I think it would be so wonderful if we all got back to giving something homemade as Christmas gifts, don't you? I know I'd sure appreciate receiving a jar of jam or honey or anything else homemade. :o)