This Freezer Raspberry Jam has less sugar and a gorgeous consistency
Growing up, I didn’t eat jams or jellies. Still rarely do, unless on vacation. The exception: mom’s freezer jams. Oh, my. I have altered her recipe to tighten up the consistency and tone down the sweetness. I rarely mess with perfection, but this time, expectations were exceeded. And, I made it with my gorgeous daughter, Lauren, who recently announced that I am going to be Gramsey!
Vanja surprised me with a trip to visit Lauren and Aaron this month for my birthday just before Lauren and Aaron announced the coming of our first grandchild. “I am having a baby!” Oh, yes I am! I am SO delighted, excited, and over the moon – swoon! I now understand the little Ukranian nesting doll sets: the matryoshka or babushka dolls. Lauren was a little baby once, inside of me, and now she has a little baby inside of her. I can feel it. I can, I can! It is inside of me, too!
Now, don’t make fun of me. Seriously. After she first told me, I would get a thrilling surge of remembering throughout the day, and feel it in my tummy. Not the way I felt her, but in a primordial, deeply embedded memory kind of way. Yet, it was still mine. Part of me. Part of my past, my history, from generations back and back and back. She is carrying the child belonging to each and all of us from my lineage. I am going to be Gramsey!
As she and Aaron have moved from the San Francisco to Salt Lake City, they are now close to the famous raspberries in the Logan – Bear Lake area. The Bear Lake area is famous for its raspberries. “The harvest of the delicious raspberry crop during August brings tourists from all across the U.S. and the world to sample these succulent treats.” In particular, the area is famous for its raspberry milk shakes. Shakes can be purchased at various shops in Bear Lake. It was still an hour further up the road and through the Wasatch-Cache National Forest, so we didn’t have a milkshake this time, though I have been known to drive a couple of hours out of my way to try a famous taste! However, we did stop at a fruit stand outside of Logan and Lauren purchased a flat of gorgeous local berries for making grandma’s famous jam.
Multi-tasking as only Lauren can (like no other), she was making dinner, and who knows what else, so I “made the jam” under her ever watchful and “what did you just do?” eye.
I was wishing we lived closer. I always wish that. Lauren was the daughter I thought would never leave her momsey, and when she was able to, I was over joyed. Every mother dreams to see each child independent and thriving. She found her life partner, and they truly love one another. It is a beautiful thing to see. Also, hilarious, at times. Even without a baby coming, I missed Sunday dinners together, cooking together, and simply that tightly woven fabric of family life one shares with an extended family.
Woven into our family fabric is this jam. Especially woven into this jam is now the memory of me becoming Gramsey! I gently stirred the glistening ruby jewels to combine them with the sugar crystals as Lauren scurried about accomplishing her evening chores. Sitting on the stool beside the island, I felt a little tickle inside of me. It was the nudging memory of “our baby”. Her baby. Aaron’s baby. My baby. His mother’s baby. My mother’s baby. Our baby is coming! The traditions of our family will live on and be carried past this generation into the future.
Great Grandma Helen’s frozen raspberry jam (now improved by moi) will hopefully live on to be made better yet, by our next generation. Threads from our past bind us to one another, influencing and affecting the future. I will never think of this pure little bundle of joy without thinking of this raspberry jam. Gently folding my hopes and dreams into the mix, I feel a blush of bliss burn through me and my cheeks hot with rosy red raspberry gramsey love.
Lauren has called me Momsey since she started University, so Gramsey seemed to be the fitting title for my future new role. How do you do it, you grandmothers who live so far away from your children and their children? I can see that this new city is their place. It is a lovely city to raise a family. Aaron’s family is nearby, and they are so happy. I guess I will just have to become the mother-in-law from h%^$ll and move in. Ha!Ha!
I was tickled with how successful my interpretation of mom’s recipe is. Hers called for 5 cups of sugar to 3 cups of berries. Mine is 3 1/3 cups of sugar to 3 cups of berries. She added water to the Certo crystals. I used liquid Certo straight into the mix. Hers had clear syrup for 1/3 to 1/2 of each jar. This one is full of berries. Hers was a very loose jam, almost runny. This jam has a looser consistency, but is a much tighter recipe and the nuggets of whole fruit are very appealing visually and to the tongue.
“Mom, we made too much!” I know, and I am sorry. Its been awhile, but you now have Christmas presents made, and it is delicious! Cost: 18 for the berries, 10 for the Certo. 28 dollars for 12 cups of jam. That is 2 dollars and 30 cents a cup. The small jars, above would sell for 5 at the Supermarket and 7 at the Farmer’s Market. Can’t beat the savings. Unless, of course, you made way too much. 🙂
We know there are only three ingredients in this recipe, that it is handed down through the generations of our family and that it holds the promise of our future. A new little one will grow to love Great Grandma’s jam, too!
Freezer Rasperry Jam
Freezer Raspberry Jam tastes like the berries were just plucked off their thorny branches; you will lick the bowl clean when you make this recipe!
- 9 cups of fresh or frozen raspberries
- 10 cups of sugar
- 2 170 mL boxes of liquid pectin (Certo); there are 2 pouches per box
Gently measure the berries into a large bowl, ladling the sugar between the berries
Gently stir the sugar into the berries, working to not break the berries
Once the berries and sugar are combined, let the concoction sit; gently stir every half hour for 4-6 hours until the sugar is dissolved
Add pectin one pouch at a time; gently stir in each until completely combined
Once all pouches have been added and combined; place mixture into jars and tightly seal
Leave on counter at room temperature for 48 hours; freeze and serve as needed