You can dance, you can jive, having the time of your life…
See that girl, watch that scene, dig it, the dancing queen…
I sing as I jam. I am the Jamming Queen. Watch out for me at your next karaoke party.
Yes, I have been jamming. To Abba and to raspberries. Thus far, I have made raspberry jam and marionberry jam. Mmmm! Because it’s berry season here in Oregon, which is akin to strawberry season, which is to say folks got berries on the brain at the mo’. And there’s nothing that feels more like summer than sweating through a good jam session in the heat of July. Am I right, sisters?
I have the most fab cookbook called Putting It Up with Honey by Susan Geiskopf. I can’t even believe you can still get a copy, but you can! It’s from 1979 and pretty darn hippy-dippy. I picked it up at a yard sale years ago. But, wow! Jams, jellies, preserves, and chutneys, oh my, all made without sugar. Plus, some nice pickle recipes like watermelon rinds, okra, and mushrooms.
I’m going to explain a basic recipe, which is my somewhat improvised version of Geiskopf’s recipe. But you really should buy this book if you are:
a) into jamming
b) want to jam without sugar
c) want a good preserving reference book
MJ’s Riff on Geiskopf’s Raspberry Jam
4 c raspberries
2 c honey
Makes about 3 cups or 24 ounces of jam.
- Wash the berries. Put them in a saucepan and crush lightly. Bring to a boil and cook about 15 mins.
- Add the honey and bring back to boiling. Susan says to boil at 220F for 5 minutes, but I never quite got there myself. So I just cooked it down until it passed both the spoon and plate tests. (Spoon test is when the mixture falls off your wooden spoon into distinct droplets; plate test is when a dime-sized spot of the liquid dabbed onto a plate does not easily dribble when you tilt the plate.)
- Take off heat and whisk for 6 minutes.
- Pack into sterilized jars and process in boiling water for 10 minutes.
Here are the berries looking lovely in the pot:
Here they are boiled to oblivion yet charming in their little jars:
Feel the beat from the tambourine! Oh yeah!