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Sunday, December 5, 2010

Summer recipe,holiday tradition

      I love singing the Hallelujah chorus from Handel's Messiah. It's a classic. When I was in high school we sang it almost all four years at the annual holiday program.We were the last to sing and would wrap up the program with this grand sound that would fill up the auditorium. The audience would stand up and listen to us belt it out. I have sung that rousing piece of music a few times since and every time is cooler than the one before.I still get excited when I hear bits and pieces of it come on the radio or tv during the holiday season.I pick up where the notes leave off ,humming it for the rest of the day.(I'm a big ol' choir nerd and totally ok with it.)It is a classic. It will always be a highlight for me during the holidays.
   Another highlight for me during this holiday season, will be Tomato Jam. I haven't been this excited about a condiment since I discovered that yellow mustard and sweet pickle relish are so good on a hot dog.I was 6 years old,so folks it's been a while.I will tell you I have gotten pretty jazzed about a few condiments but none like the Tomato Jam.
Oh sriracha,it is so spicy. Spicy garlicky goodness.

Asian chili garlic sauce,a chunkier version of sriracha.

   This is the already legendary Tomato Jam.It is tomato jam. You've got blueberry jam, plum jam and now here it is,tomato jam.The sweetness hits you first,followed by the spicy richness of cloves,cinnamon and ginger,then just as you finish taking it all in,BAM! the red pepper flakes make their debut. The kick is just enough to remind you this ain't no wimpy tomato jam.It was such an easy recipe to make after canning my fanny off and little did I know how much I would love every taste of this ah-mazing condiment.Oh and the jar in the picture above was finished off soon after we opened it. Sausage and biscuits never tasted so good.
Tomato Jam

adapted from
(this is a great canning blog,you 
should try it sometime. You go Marisa.)
makes 4 1/2 to 5 pints
5lb tomatoes,finely chopped
3 1/2 c sugar
8 TBL lime juice
2 tsp freshly grated ginger
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1 TBL salt
1 TBL red chile flakes
1. Combine all ingredients in a large non-reactive pot. Bring to a boil and then reduce the temperature to a simmer. Stirring regularly ,simmer the jam until it reduces to a sticky,jammy mess. This will take between  1 and 1 1/2 hours,depending on how high you keep you heat.While this cooks down,prepare canner,jars and lids.
2. When the jam has cooked down sufficiently,remove from the heat and fill heated jars carefully,leaving 1/4 inch of head space. Wipe rims,apply lids and twist on rings. Process in a boiling water canner for 20 minutes. When time is up,remove jars from water and allow them to cool. When the jars are cool enough to handle,test seals. Store in a cool,dark,place for up to one year.

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