Grainy Jam Is Not A Good Thing, Martha

September 13th

Currently making me happy:

Reading and loving

Gardening class. I love this group. It is so fun to get together and learn and be able to ask 30 Phoenicians from all different walks of life about their experiences in working with the earth. My goal is to have a fantastic Fall garden this time next year. I’m envisioning the purchase of a small home in early 2009 and slowly transforming a tiny plot in back where I’ll grow gourds, garlic, corn, beans and melons. This new book from the library used book store is providing fuel to the garden fire.

I like turning heads
Great labels

Correspondence. Not news that I love paper, envelopes, good pens, friends who share their handwriting secrets, labels, stamps, and new Paper-Source catalogs. I am dreaming of pretty new labels for Thanksgiving cards — little notes telling family and friends why I am thankful for them. Abundance of gratitude is a good thing; so is great mail.

The Ya Yas, who are my fierce coven of sisters. They know my dreams and when I’ve made a silly decision or invested too much; they don’t hold back. When someone has “crossed the Kevin FederLine,” they are quick to point it out and help me regain focus. (How awesome is that line? KFed. Oh, man it makes me giggle.) So blessed by these girls and their families.

My folks. I’m thrilled to be headed their way next week for a reboot. Four days in Texas will certainly mean lots of movie and book time with my papa, sewing with Mom, walking with Dharma, the super pooch, and BBQ. Oh, Rudy’s here I come.

Matt, my fun roomie who is adding a new layer of humor to my small home. He is adorable and his observations of American life are not getting old. We went to happy hour last night and after a dozen bourbons, I thought my sides were going to split or we were going to be asked to leave. (I had running bright and early this morning and stuck to my my old sidekick DC. Stone cold sober, it was silly funny.)

how long till happy hour?

Short hair. The weather is finally cooling and it is gorgeous in Phoenix today. However, riding my bike around town without a wet ponytail? Icing on the cake.

Saturday afternoons including bikes, a boy, burgers and beer. Giddyup.

Making me not so happy:

Homemade bread and jam

Six jars of flopped jam. The jam came out incredibly grainy and very sugary. Any ideas on what went wrong? Good thing the bread recipe is tried and true. Hopefully the recipients will just throw on some extra butter to mask the jam craziness. Martie, you failed me on this recipe.

~k

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Happy Hippie, Journal
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26 Responses

  1. Hi Kelli:

    This happened to a friend of mine. It was like her jam separated into a sugar core and liquid on the outside. She reheated the contents of the jar in a saucepan and put it back into the canning jar and that seemed to do the trick.

    Not sure if this will help you with this situation.

    Martha owes you a guest spot on her show to say the least! 🙂

    How is the prickly pear syrup that you made?

    Teresa (a.k.a Prairie Girl)

  2. I, too, love paper and writing notes to friends and family. My all time fave shop is Kate’s Paperie in NYC, but you can order online at http://www.katespaperie.com. You’ll love it.

  3. Aww, man..sorry the jam didn’t work out..I made some cupcakes today that were pretty bad, so I feel your pain..

  4. Hm…not sure about the jam thing. I read around the net a little and it seems to just be undissolved sugar? Maybe try re-heating as someone mentioned above to try to dissolve the sugar more? Bad Martha! Sunds like her recipe called for way too much sugar =(

  5. I’ve been drooling over that Paper Source catalog!!
    Big bummer about the jam! My canning book has a recipe for Prickly Pear Marmalade and the fruit/sugar ratio is about the same as Martha’s recipe. She doesn’t have you cook it very long, but then again with the added pectin you shouldn’t need to I guess. I’m not much of an expert. The bread looks awesome though!!

  6. Don’t you just love Rudy’s?!?!?! We had it a couple of weeks ago. Yum!

  7. Sorry about the jam, hopefully next time it will be perfect! The bread looks yummy.

  8. Sorry the jam didn’t turn out quite right. It looked so yummy! I’ve never had prickly pear, but it looks good. 🙂 Well on the bright side at least your new haircut looks cute!

  9. Prickly pear’s are fickle and when making jam does not always set up properly. As to the grainy sugar, it sounds like it did not dissole. This recipe was TNT by me 8 years ago and I mine did set up fine and I did not have the grainy sugar in mine that happened to you. I am very sorry that the recipe didn’t work well for you Kelli. I know when you put that much time and effort into somthing and it doesn’t turn out properly it is a huge let down.

  10. Love the hair!!

    I know nothing about jam, but we use Baker’s sugar for our creations. It is ground finer than regular sugar, so it dissolves faster in recipes and doesn’t leave a grainy crunch. Good luck!

  11. I’m confused….I thought you were in Africa…now I read Phoenix….help a Canadian out eh?

  12. Glad to know I’m not the only one with failed domestic experiments. My second batch of yogurt was a runny, disgusting mess.

  13. I’m no help in the jam department, so I will again go for the shallow comment!
    I feel the same way about my girlfriends.
    Is Matt one of your visitors from South Africa? The one in the pink shirt drinking the margarita? The cute, blond one? Are there no worthy men in Phoenix?
    Your Saturday afternoon sounds like FUN!
    Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

  14. Oh, I forgot – cute hair!

  15. Last night after getting home from a day in the Alexander Valley at Lancaster Winery, I commented on the jam but not your cute haircut or the great paper crafts. Love both!

  16. Hi Kelli,

    I’ve enjoyed your jars of renewal projects–what a bummer that the jam ended up grainy. I just made some jam myself and found this website to be super helpful: http://www.uga.edu/nchfp/how/can7_jam_jelly.html

    There is a chart of common problems and solutions–I’m pretty sure that graininess is discussed.

    Cheers!

  17. Love paper! Will have to check out Paper Source. Thanks for the link. Bummer about the jam. It would take me about 3 or so tries to get it right, I know! So, you’re lucky that you normally get recipes right on the first one!

  18. Just wanted to say I like the hair!

  19. Ok, I did it….I clicked on the Paper Source link. Oh my goodness, pure paper heaven. I of course signed up for a catalog. I’m hoping to get plenty of ideas. Baby annoucements here I come.

  20. Awe, as you know, I miss the long hair, but your cute hair is awesome also. You have beautiful hair.
    Love you.
    PS. Beach in less than a month!

  21. I’d love to have a garden, but living in a 3rd floor flat…..anyway I’m looking for the news in your green project! Nice hair cut btw.

  22. Did you strain it? I thought you had a photo of the boys straining the jam. I would think that’d account for the graininess.

    I don’t usually use as much sugar as the recipes call for. I think most jam recipes were created during a time when sugar was a new thing or something because it usually is way too much. I usually use about 3/4 of the sugar the recipes call for.

    CUTE HAIR.

  23. your hair is stellar!

  24. Hi Kelli, I have great appreaciation for the fact that you even attempted to make this laborintensivecomplicatedpaininthebutt jelly. I’m sure it’s still better than you say! I love paper too, I love cards and writing, I’m glad there are so many of us that do. Thanks for the info about the paper catalog, I will check it out.
    Your hair is so cute!
    x Lori

  25. LOVE your new hair cut. Super cute!!!

  26. Super duper hair cut! I have had the same thing happen when making jam a few times. The culpret? Old pectin being used:) Oooopppsss. The good thing is that the batch can be redone:)

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