sticky (but delicious) tomato jam


Tonight... everything .... is.... sticky. 

I made JAM. Tomato Jam.

Before you start to feel like I'm some sort of amazing kitchen witch (I don't know maybe you think Jam is hard) .... I will tell you that making jam is one notch harder than matching up white socks or making mussels. Some assembly / patience / attention required. That's it.

The tomato jam came about because by the virtue of market timing. After running errands all day on Saturday,  I didn't make it to Haymarket until just before closing. Enter the FIRE SALE. Almost everything is a dollar. You can't buy 3 tomatoes, you can only buy 3 pounds. It's how I ended up with all the asparagus for Sunday dinner.

I was a little unclear what to do with 3 pounds of tomatoes. It's getting to be really nice out and I didn't want to make bolognese sauce or tomato soup. It also wasn't warm enough for gazpacho which I'd have made in a heartbeat. Thankfully, my friend Gretchen from "Under My Knife" provided me 3 great suggestions: bloody mary mix, pizza sauce, pomodoro sauce ... or tomato jam. It's always great having a friend whose Instagram makes you salivate regularly. Get one, I recommend it.

The "hardest" part of this was figuring out how to sterilize the jars - which I ended up just microwaving since that was one of the options. The second hardest part was not burning myself on the hot jars ... and hot contents ... that I had to ensure weren't too far apart temp wise or the glass would allegedly burst. I'm no genius but that seems like a great way to ruin the jam.

So this is how it goes. Also, I doubled the original recipe from "A Wednesday Chef" since I had 3 pounds of tomatoes. Each pound of tomatoes will generate one 6 oz jar... so 3 pounds is 2.5 jars. (You are welcome for doing the math.) Oh, and kitchen scales are overrated right? This is how I measure ingredients and it works juuuuuust fine.

(Step 1) Prep your tomatoes. You need to core them (take out all the brains in the middle) and roughly chop them.

(Step 2) Now add all of the ingredients into a pot / saucepan. Seriously. How easy is this? So, add the tomatoes, sugar, lime juice, ginger, cumin, cinnamon, cloves, salt, and red pepper flakes.

(Step 3) Bring this all to a boil and stir often.

(Step 4) Reduce the heat to a simmer and stir the pot occasionally. You want it to get to the consistency of jam (obvi) ... which will take about 75 minutes... maybe a smidge less.
(Step 5) Pour the jam into hot, sterile jars ... and screw the lids on tight. I have no idea why but the recipe I followed suggested putting the jars upside down to cool. Whatever, I did it. You should do it too.
You are done. Now, if you were me ... you'd give one jar to your Italian landlord, one jar to a lucky friend, and keep the half jar for yourself.

Shopping List
1.5 pounds ripe plum tomatoes, cored and coarsely chopped
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
1 tablespoon fresh grated or minced ginger
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

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