Easy-Peazy Hostess Gift


Looking to make a homemade hostess gift that is easy, useful, and cheap?
Jams are the jam when it comes to delicious and flexible options.

Think jams are too complicated?
No way.
Jams are basically produce, sugar, maybe some spice, a little water, a pot and a stove top.
I’m serious. That’s it. Article done.

Yeah, you KNOW I wasn’t gonna stop there but I could have.
Now it’s true the FDA has criteria on what constitutes jam. According to Serious Eats, “If you’re starting with berries, tomatoes, oranges, or pineapples, the ratio must be 47 parts by weight fruit to 55 parts sugar. If you’re starting with stone fruit, currants, guava, or gooseberries, the ration must be 45 parts fruit to 55 parts sugar. That fruit quanity refers to the weight of the fruit that’s already been pitted, seeded, and skinned.”
I recently made a spicy jam where I didn’t measure any “parts” at all and it turned out great; you can too!

What I had:
A handful of green Cherry Tomatoes
A chunk of ginger about thumb sized
Clementine peels
A good sized jalapeño
Soy Sauce

What I did:
Dicing the ginger, garlic, clementine peels, and jalapeño was as easy as throwing it into the food processor. (If you don’t have one, just dice the above quite finely and contemplate purchasing a processor. Mine only holds a couple cups but is super handy, cleans easily, and was inexpensive.)

Meantime, I heated up a cup of water in a small pot before pouring in about a cup of granulated sugar and stirring to dissolve.

Get the diced goodness from the food processor into the briskly simmering pot along with the green tomatoes (For Gods sake, don’t bother peeling those little tomatoes!)
I added soy sauce but, if I do it again, I will add less. The soy sauce adds depth of flavor but one or two shakes would’ve been plenty.

imageWalk away for a few minutes.
Walk away for a few minutes.
If it’s too savory or spicy, add more sugar.
As the water cooks out, walk away for shorter periods because you don’t want it to get too thick or burn. By the time the spoon creates a path clear of jam when it’s dragged across the bottom of the pot, it’s way ready.
As the jam cools it will thicken. If you find it is too thick, add a little hot water and stir to loosen it up.
imageAnd that’s it!
If you like straight up sweet tastes don’t add the jalapeño or soy sauce. Experiment with what you like and use what you have. I have found ginger adds spice to almost any combination.

Mooch baby jars from friends with kids. Return them filled with a ribbon or decorative label and they will love you.
I can’t wait to see what people will or have come up with. Enjoy the process (and the results!) and let me know.
Take care.

Image Sources:
Hostess Gift- Careysuevega.com
Cartoon Cook -123rf.com


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