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Jamming Around ~ Peache and Plum Jams with Star Anise Recipe

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so this is part three of the posts on jams that have made their way into my kitchen……….all within a span of a few weeks…but have taken me a long time to post…..

Aunty E who you all read about here was operated upon for at cataract and I went to see her…she is doing well and recovering and the doctor was delighted that she cooperated so well…..she lives quite far from where I do, and so it was quite a trek…but so worth it!!

On my way back home, I picked up some peaches and cherries…I had no idea what I would do with them….because most fruit is eaten as it is at my place, and very little is done with the fruit….we demolished the whole box of cherries in a couple of days and k didn’t quite know how to handle the peaches……amma used to poach them in a sugar syrup mildly spiced with cinnamon and cloves and I pondered over that….but we as kids had it with fresh cream or custard… that is an indulgence I cannot afford……also, it was obvious that the peaches made a long and arduous journey to actually get to me, so while some of them were seriously in need of some life support, a few others were still a bit unripe….and so I decided to make an easy jam / preserve of the peaches……..

I’d read a column/ book by Karen Anand book some time ago where she advises that cut fruit sprinkled with sugar and left overnight in the fridge gave better flavour to the jam / preserve…..since I had a lot on my hands the day I skinned and chopped the peaches, this suited me just fine…..only I left it in the fridge for two days amidst bouts of panic that they would perish!! I added 1 cup of chopped plums to the 4 cups of peaches and made this entirely in the microwave….though it took longer than the time it was supposed to take, it was totally fuss free and the only aberration was that some of the syrup fell onto the plate inside the microwave oven, which had to be washed clean…….the jam is pretty awesome……even if i say so myself!! With the small chunks of fruit still intact….the colour is glorious and I am so happy to be eating a non commercial variety of jam…… btw, k and I aren’t really hot on jam…so I have no idea what I am going to do with a bottle full of this stuff…..maybe try some as a dessert topping or in baking etc……

this is my entry to sunitha’s Think spice event which turns one….no guessing that Star Anise is my absolutely favourite spice!!

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Plum Jam Recipe

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Jam for me is a trip down memory lane……my mother’s annual plum jam was a much awaited event….she’d spend a total of three days each year…sourcing the best plums, washing and drying them, sorting, slicing and finally cooking them to the ribbon stage….. bottling it up and then presenting a bottle to anyone who evinced interest….

at least that’s how I think it started…..because for as long as I remember, there was always a pretty long recipients list…….I am not a very jam friendly person…..and as a totally confused kid, thought it was way better to eat store bought jam…..I couldn’t understand why amma couldn’t make hers as smooth or sweet as what kissan made…..neither could I understand why she insisted on keeping some of it pulpy…..I remember mostly reacting to amma’s jam with a “yuck”…….funny….. because now I can give an arm and a leg for it……life has a way of reminding you how silly you were…..but mostly I am grateful for it!! I still am not big on jams…..I prefer it with pancakes, on desserts or simply mixed into some yogurt to satiate the sweet tooth…..

This was a labour of love that my mother indulged in once a year…..and regardless of how much people praised her and the result, and asked her to go commercial, she would say that all she wanted to do was make her signature plum jam once a year for her kids and she was satisfied…..for the last few years, due to various reasons the jam wasn’t being made, and tho I am not huge on jams and preserves, I was missing amma’s jam….so this year I decided to make some of it for myself….and between several panic stricken phone calls and extreme “I am missing you mommy”, I managed to make the jam….

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on an impromptu break….. and reminder for WBB

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this is just one of those things that happen when you least expect it!! my in laws are here and we had planned a week’s trip, first to the temple town of Tirumala, the richest pilgrimage place in the world (and a nightmare where crowds are concerned!!)…..and a few days in chennai to meet with family…..but as luck would have it…my laptop has konked off and will take till i get back on home ground to be fixed….with all the visiting we’ve been doing, there’s hardly any time to do anything else anyways….so am on a blogging break till 28th and hopefully will get back after that…in the meanwhile, please keep sending me your entries to WBB….i am recieving the entries, but may not be able to get back immediately…will do so once i am back….but let the madness for mangoes not stop!!


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