COOK: FRESH JAM IN THE MORNING TIME, IN THE AFTERNOON, IN THE COOL EVENING BREEZE

Photograph by MUFFET

There’s much to be said about something so simple: homemade jam.  At its most basic, a mere combination of fruit and sugar over a heat source, you have a concoction that will delightfully tantalize your taste buds.  You see a new side to fruits you normally enjoyed, almost as if you’re used to seeing them in the daytime and now they appear garbed in evening attire.  The ease with which one can create this has me asking myself why in the past I’d purchased the store bought variety laden with preservatives, tasting much less of fruit but more of a science experiment.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not gung-ho green. I merely notice the difference in taste, as have others.  So, if it’s quite obvious how much more natural homemade jam tastes and so easy to make… why not cook up a batch?

Since honeydews are now in season, I thought that would be the perfect star.  The recipe is below.  I will say that next time I’ll add star anise as well as cinnamon to give it the earthiness that I associate with my grandma’s jams/jellies.

3 cups honeydew melon pieces
3 cups sugar
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon chopped candied ginger

Combine the melon pieces, sugar, lemon juice and candied ginger in a pot. Let stand until a syrup forms (about 2 hours). Bring to a boil and boil for two minutes, stirring constantly. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring frequently until mixture is thickened and the melon is translucent.

There’s so much you can do with the jam! Eat it with toast, mix into into a fresh batch of ice cream, serve it warm on “top” of ice cream, make tarts, use them in a vinaigrette, try it out with some meat dishes in a sweet/savory combination, plus you can always give them away as a sweet gift.

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