Plenty Sweet Life

Grandma's Recipes One By One!

Uncooked Jam

Remember those beautiful local strawberries I told you about in my post Freezing Berries? I used some of them to make this recipe. Uncooked Jam always seems easier than cooked jam. I needed to find a way to use up the rest of those little summer jewels. I haven’t tried yet, but it would be fun to try all kinds of berries for this jam. Grandma and her sisters had a lot of recipes for canning all kinds of end of the summer harvest, and that would have really heated up the kitchen. I’m sure this one was a way to make jam without turning up the heat. As long as they had room in their “icebox”, this recipe would have worked well for preserving all kids of beautiful summer berries.

Uncooked Jam

You can never have too many kinds of jam to get you through the long, dark Minnesota winter!

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Uncooked Jam


1 1/4 cups berries, sliced or crushed (I used double this amount of berries AND crushing them worked best)

2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

1 1/2 cups sugar

Let stand 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally to help dissolve the sugar.


1/2 package powdered pectin

7 Tablespoons water

Cook, bringing to a full boil.

Boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly.

(I skipped this part by using a package of liquid pectin, however, it didn’t firm up. It stayed fairly runny, so we’ll be using the “jam” as a syrup for pancakes or over ice cream.)

Slowly stir hot pectin into mixture of berries.

Stir for several minutes.

Pour into sterilized jelly glasses or jars.

Cover with lids.

Store in refrigerator.


Oh my gosh – how beautiful! I hated to cut them up!


It is a lot of sugar, but it IS jam.


When all the ingredients are combined, it made a lot of liquid even when I doubled the amount of berries(but it may be more runny because I used the liquid pectin).


I got about 3 1/2 pints out of this recipe.


So pretty.


This is the tastiest jam ever. It has to be because of the local berries. Even though this particular batch got a bit runnier than I wanted, we’ll still make great use of it for syrup and ice cream topping. Give this a try – it’s a great way to keep those beautiful summer berries just a little bit longer!



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Tomato Jam

The recipe for today is something a little bit unusual. Tomato Jam was something Grandma made every year and I have to admit that it was never my favorite. It was always too tomato-y for me, but she loved it! I seem to remember that she served it with bread or toast, but also with some meats. It’s kind of like a chutney, being a bit on the savory side. This MUST be another good one since she didn’t keep recipes cut out from a newspaper very often. She even taped the cut-out right onto a card!

Tomato Jam

Note that this one also has the “V Good” connotation!!!

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Tomato Jam

3 cups ripe tomatoes, chopped (blanched to remove skins)

2 cups sugar

1 package (3 oz.) lemon gelatin dessert

Cook tomatoes and sugar for 12 minutes (this is where I put in the peeled and chopped orange she mentioned).

Remove from heat.

Stir in gelatin dessert (or Jell-O) and stir until the gelatin dissolves.

Pour into sterilized jars.

Keep refrigerated or frozen.


I chopped the peeled orange about the same size as the tomatoes.


The orange melts into the tomato and it all cooks down together to make the sweet tomato-y jam.


It is jam, yet it still really looks like tomatoes. It’s also a great way to use up your over abundance of tomatoes from the garden!


Here’s another very pretty jar that’s great for gift giving.


This jam is also really good with meats. Try it on pork, beef, or even chicken.


Now I love this jam. It’s not nearly as tomato-y as I remember it. It’s just jam.


There’s nothing better than your own home-made jam on your own home-made bread. I’ll share the recipe for this Buttermilk Oatmeal Bread in my Friday post. Try this unusual jam. You will really enjoy it.


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Peach Jam

I just had to share this picture that I found in an old photo album recently, of Grandma and two of her sisters from 1929. Grandma is the girl in the light-colored coat and her two sisters are on either side of her.

Peach Jam

It looks like they were enjoying a day “in town”! Grandma is holding some books, so maybe she is on her way to school. She lived with family friends during the week so she could go to high school in town. Their farm was about 5 miles out, so I’m sure it was quite a ride to make twice a day every day back then.

Now for today’s recipe. It’s the time of summer for peaches! Yay! I love peaches. Yesterday, my daughters helped me make Peach Jam. We’ve made a couple of kinds of jam and they’re really getting into it!

Peach Jam

One of my daughters renamed this recipe “Beach Jam” since it has a more tropical feel than peach.

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Peach Jam

Grind together (I used a food processor):

3 pounds of peaches

1 20 ounce can of crushed pineapple with juice

1/2 jar of maraschino cherries (even though she had crossed it out and added it at the end, I only used half and put them in all together and it came out fine)

2 oranges, cut in chunks, peel and all (the peel has the pectin to make it thick)

Mix together in a large pot:


3 pounds white sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

Boil for 30 minutes.

Put into jars.

Seal with a hot water bath for 10 minutes. I do have a canner, but when doing smaller jars, I use my stockpot with a silicone trivet in the bottom to hold the jars off of the bottom of the pot. For a hot water bath: Fill pot with enough water to cover jars 1″ when they’re all in there. Boil the water, then put the jars in and start the timing.



I processed the fruit individually – there wasn’t room for all of it at the same time.


I weighed out the peaches on my food scale. I could only fit a pound at a time in the bowl.


It looks a bit soupy until the end of the cooking. I considered adding some gel pectin I had until it started to thicken at the end.


Using a funnel helps in the jarring process.


With all of the canning and jamming I’ve been doing, I had to scramble a bit for jars. These are all shapes and sizes.


The jars are so pretty and also great for gift giving.


This Peach Jam is a bit different. It’s not just peaches, so it does taste a bit more like fruit cocktail jam. That’s why my daughter renamed it Beach Jam. So tropical and so tasty!




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