Good morning and welcome to Coffee and Conversation #103 – hosted by PatAndCandy.com!
“There’s something supremely satisfying about putting up jars of food in your pantry…”
That was my thought as I placed 9 pint-jars of strawberry fig jam in my pantry closet last weekend. A sweet friend of mine had a bumper crop of figs from the huge tree in her yard and had asked me if I wanted any. My first thought was “Um, no thanks – I haven’t made ANYthing “domestic” in my kitchen since…well, in a long time, and the weather ’round these parts has been well over 100°, and who wants to heat up the kitchen in that heat?”
Yes, that was my complete thought.
But then I took a look at those small, sweet fruits she was offering and remembered how much I love Fig Newtons®, and I had this crazy idea to make a homemade version of them – until I got home.
I brought the box into the kitchen and without missing a best, my daughter asks “Oh, are you gonna make some strawberry fig jam like I did with Mrs. Elaine?” Elaine is yet another dear friend who has a strong domestic gene, something which apparently was misplaced during my formative months. Three years ago Elaine took my daughter to her house for an afternoon of jam making, and she still has fond memories of that experience.
“Sure, honey! That’s exactly what I was gonna make!”
So she and my 15-year-old son washed and cut-up those babies, and prepared everything for me to make some jam. This recipe comes from the friend who gave me the figs, and what I LOVE about it is that you don’t have to give them a hot-water bath to preserve them. At least that’s what she says. She’s made these before and so I’m gonna trust her on it! Actually, it’s kind of a cross between her recipe and my friend Elaine’s. I added the strawberry jello ’cause I just knew my family wouldn’t eat it if they knew it was just figs. (Yeah, even tho’ they love Fig Newstons® too!) But seriously, this recipe is so stinkin’ easy, you have NO excuse not to try it – unless you don’t have access to figs. Which, at least if you live in the South, cannot even be remotely possible!
Strawberry Fig Jam
6-ish cups cut-up figs (the smaller you dice them the easier they break up as they cook)
3-ish cups sugar (no matter how much you decide to make, always keep the 2:1 ratio of figs to sugar)
1 T lemon juice (optional, I was told. It helps break up the figs, but if you cut them up small enough it’s not necessary.)
1 box sugar-free strawberry jello
Mix the figs, sugar, and lemon together and cook over medium heat for approximately 1 hour. The sugar will melt and turn the whole thing into a saucy/soupy consistency. Mash the figs up some with a potato masher and add the strawberry jello, and let simmer for just a few minutes more.
Meanwhile, wash 3 pint-sized Mason jars in hot water (actually, I put mine all through the dishwasher and used them straight from there).
Pour the jam into the jars, wipe the lid and outsides clean and place upside down on a towel to cool. When cooled, turn them over and check the seal. If you can push down on the lid and it pops back up again, store the jar in the fridge. If the lid doesn’t move at all, place them on the shelf in your pantry.
I have no idea how long they’ll keep, but if your household is anything like mine, nothing (nothing sweet, at least) stands a snowball’s chance of being in the pantry for that long, anyway!
What have you been cooking up in the kitchen this summer? Or are you laughing too hard to leave an answer in the comments?
Now on to this week’s features!
OurUnschoolingJourneyThroughLife shared some very helpful info this week, and judging by how many readers visited this particular post, I’d say that there’s quite a bit o’ moms out there resting and getting re-energized this summer…at least I HOPE y’all are getting some rest and encouragement!!
Y’all know by know that I am a geography fanatic! Well, there may be a few of you out there, too, ’cause a bunch of you headed over to JES’s post, from StrangersAndPilgrimsOnEarth, on China. Although this would be a great format to study any country. Nice resources and beautiful photographs, too!
We all know (don’t we?!) how important it is to reach the heart of our teens! Ifeoma, from PurposefulAndMeaningful, shared a guest post featuring the book “How to Win Your Child’s Heart for Life“. Great post, with an interesting questionnaire that you may want to try…
Thank you all so much for your inspiration and timely words…
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