We Have Jam!

First batch of strawberry jam is in the books!

I am going to go back out and putz in my below average garden. I am having serious feelings of garden inadequacy after seeing Marvel’s spread this morning. I seriously need to up my game.

35 replies
  1. 1
    frosty says:

    But you have jam! Celebrate the win!!

  2. 2
    Mary Ellen Sandahl says:

    Strawberries so early? Niot to mention, jam-making this early? Astonishing!

  3. 3
    MattF says:

    Picked up a pint of strawberries at the farmer’s market this morning. First local berries of the season, though they were available last weekend from VA. Also, asparagus this weekend from VA.

  4. 4
    tokyokie says:

    First batch of strawberry jam is in the books!

    Shouldn’t you put it in the kitchen cupboard instead of the library?

  5. 5
    MattF says:

    Picked up a pint of local strawberries (MD/PA) this morning at the farmer’s market. And asparagus from Virginia. Pretty soon… blueberries and blackberries, I guess.

  6. 6
    MobiusKlein says:

    By the time Mozart was my age, he’d been dead twice. At least.

  7. 7
    mrmoshpotato says:

    The jam is too close to the willow tree.

  8. 8
    Mary G says:

    Marvel is in a category of her own. Her new downsized place is still twice as big as any garden I have ever had.

    Jam looks delicious. What sweetener did you end up using?

  9. 9
    trollhattan says:

    How’s dad?

    Our neighbors and friends lost their yellow lab yesterday. Saturn was an astonishing seventeen and was the world’s sweetest doggie, she was SO HAPPY to see you whether the first time or the seven-hundredth, and she helped raise two girls and a boy. The very model of a neighborhood dog, I miss her already.

  10. 10
    Aleta says:

    we don’t even have tulips yet

  11. 11
    Emerald says:

    @trollhattan: Sadness.

    I am mourning M’Bari, the San Diego Zoo’s magnificent lion who died this week. He had elderly issues and they couldn’t make him comfortable any longer. He was 15, which is old for a lion. Astonishing beast, very loved by everyone.

  12. 12
    LuciaMia says:

    Did your jam jam okay? Thats always the tricky part for me.

  13. 13
    Juju says:

    My garden is nonexistent, so you’re way ahead of me. On the other hand, I am not a big fan of being out in the sun.

    How did the stevia part of the jam work out, or did you do just sugar?

  14. 14
    Duane says:

    You can sell Balloon Juice Jam then the blog could be ad-free. Other money-making opportunities available in my free newsletter! Need a delicious BBQ coon recipe?
    E-mail me today!

  15. 15

    @mrmoshpotato: The willow is too close to the blog and puts us all into a jam.

  16. 16
    Steve in the ATL says:


    BBQ coon recipe

    Tell me that’s not for roadkill, even if you have to lie to me

  17. 17

    @Steve in the ATL: I think you have to subscribe to his newsletter to find out.

  18. 18
    Duane says:

    @Steve in the ATL: Okay, not from roadkill, but it makes it a lot harder. It’s all in my newsletter!

  19. 19
    Mike in DC says:

    …You jumped out of a jelly into a jam….can’t do nuttin for ya man.


  20. 20
    Ceci n est pas mon nym says:

    Just came from a showing of “The Biggest Little Farm”, a documentary about a couple who created a whole ecosystem on a couple of hundred acres, 75 different kinds of fruit, co-existing with the pests and the predators. Really inspiring view of what sustainable farming looks like.

    Still doesn’t make me want to be a farmer. Lot of sleepless nights and heartbreak. And I’ve known people who worked full time and then went home and ran a farm, for fun.

  21. 21
    Ceci n est pas mon nym says:

    @Steve in the ATL: I suppose you could go out and trap your own if you’re into that sort of thing.

  22. 22
    Mainmata says:

    But…but, surely the jam preserves aren’t “in the books” but in mason jars, no?

  23. 23
    LongHairedWeirdo says:

    Take a lesson from a fellow with ME/CFS: don’t let envy make you actually sad, unless you can do something about it. Someone’s always going to have a bigger, better, more beautiful whatever-it-is than you; that’s a damn fine collection of jam. (Yeah, you were probably just joking about envy, but it’s a good life’s lesson to consider from time to time. It’s surprising how many people can feel inadequate just because there *is* always someone with something bigger, better or (at least subjectively) more beautiful.)

  24. 24
    TomatoQueen says:

    Well done. Homemade strawberry jam makes up for a lot of unacceptable nonsense.

  25. 25
    Shana says:

    Jam looks great. The local strawberries I got a couple of weeks ago at my local farmers’ market were pretty good.

    I’m getting home tonight after an unexpected week away and hope the pickles that are brining in the fridge are OK. I’ve never done them before so if anyone has advice I’d appreciate it. They were at room temperature for 5 days before I put them in the fridge for a week.

  26. 26
    Mainmata says:

    @MattF: We have a farm in he upper Shenandoah Co and have eveloped a pretty good garden over the years. One key secret (ok, maybe that’s too strong a word is we bought used mushroom soil (mushroom farmers have to recycle their growing medium periodically). That and our south facing view yields sensational yields. Tomatoes are especially bountiful.

  27. 27
    debbie says:


    Check the morning gardening thread. It’s Marvel’s garden that he’s envying. I don’t even have a house and have not had a garden since I was a little kid, and I’m envious.

  28. 28
    J R in WV says:

    Argh, you guys. Inna jars, In Da BOOKS! Why not both!?

    John, tell me you used sugar, please? If you gotta, you can lie to me. But Sugar is how my Grandma did it, so that’s how I do it. No Tropical semi-sugar sorta solutions. Sugar works for Jam, Jelly, sweets of all kinds.

    I don’t like my jam too sweet, anyway, tart desserts are the best.

    Happy Holiday, all. Old Tyme music next door, have watered the ferns gonna shower and hit the road. After the musical contests in town, neighbor who competes in Banjo and Fiddle brings some friends out to the farm east of us for some olde tyme jammin’. Think I’ll whiz some bean dip and take a bag a chips. And a bottle of brown liquor, since we’ll be less than 1/2 a mile from home, mostly on our driveway.

    We were out watering and fertilizing the ferns, and heard motorcycle engines out the mouth of the hollow. Then we heard our neighbor, who walks a big rotty on a leash, yelling. Then we hear more motorcycle sounds, departing — Looking for a place to party, not here, folks. Neighbor’s dog is a little psycho, is never outside off her leash, neighbor is a long-hair too old to give a rat’s ass. Looking forward to the musical party, soon as we shower.

    Three-bean garlic dip.

  29. 29
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Ceci n est pas mon nym: nah, the nice thing about roadkill is that it’s already tenderized

  30. 30
    Michael J Allen says:

    @J R in WV: I guess you could use maple syrup or something, but if you don’t use the normal amount of sugar in whatever form first it’s not as good and second it will not last when opened. The sugar percentage keeps mold or mildew or whatever that stuff is from growing.

    It’s weird. Fresh strawberries or blackberries or whatever can be delicious as is, but made into a jam if there is a lot less sugar than normal it isn’t as good. Of course some things like blueberries or currants are just a bit (!) bitter straight anyway.

  31. 31
    MomSense says:

    @J R in WV:

    Word. Sugar is how it’s done – learned at my grandma’s apron. Then my granddad made me a stool so I could get in on the action.

  32. 32
    LongHairedWeirdo says:

    @debbie: Well, and I’m also taking it as a salute to an amazing garden, really. Still, when you’re almost-always too damn tired to do *anything*, you learn a lot about how toxic envy can be. “Other people have time and energy to do fun things with their friends! It’s not fair”! are both true statements, but neither helps if you, at your best, really *don’t* have time and energy.

    So “don’t let envy cut you deeply” is one of the sorts of things I like saying, not because I think anyone needs to hear it directly, but maybe it’ll spark a thought for someone who could use a reminder that envy can be an enemy.

  33. 33
    rikyrah says:

    My two favorite things in a mason jar are strawberry jam and peach preserves😊😋
    Way to go, Cole🙌🙌
    Sending prayers for Papa Cole 🙏🙏

  34. 34
  35. 35
    cleosmom says:

    My late husband and I tried to do the market garden thing years ago with our 23 acres. Alas, we discovered that this is a realistic possibility only if one of you can make it a de facto full time job. There’s just no doing it in your spare time, especially here in the Midwest: America’s flyover jungle, where a lawn can turn into a hayfield before you know it.

    I do make jelly every year, though. Cherry jelly (I buy the cherries at a pick-you-own-fruit place) and mulberry jelly from our three mulberry trees. The jelly is a deep reddish-purple and tastes like hyperactive blackberries.

    Yeah, I know. Birds, purple shit, fillintheblank. There’s a year-round reason to not want a mulberry tree too close to your house: when they’re mature they’re almost as big as oaks.

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