Red Tomato Jam or Swanky Ketchup…

Ya know, whenever I get a hundred pounds of tomatoes to can, I often wonder if I should seek immediate medical attention. I have to be nuts to do it. It’s a mess. It takes forever. Blah blah blah. When I’m done with them though, I am always glad I did. So I call for another 50 or so pounds haha. The produce lady has my number though and suckers me into another fifty pounds everytime. She knows I’m cheap. Frugal. Whatever. She knows that I hate spending money. Passionately. I sweat in check out lines. If I’m in a checkout line this immediately implies two of my most disliked things. Close quarters with people and letting go of the green stuff. So she knows when she says I can have 50 pounds of tomatoes for $10 bucks I can’t say no.


This is not 100 pounds of tomatoes. This is the cute bowl from my wee little mommy’s raised beds.

Why, that would be madness. So another hundred pounds of tomatoes down the canning funnel. Someone may be reading this(ha I joke. I joke.) and wondering “why so few blog posts?”. Well the answer is I am a brain genius (just ask my momma) and I started this blog at the start of garden season. It’ll get better. The winter garden ain’t near as time consuming. Exciting? You bet. But the most time I plan to spend on that is eating it.

One of Mom’s Junglesque raised beds. (Yes Junglesque is obviously a word. I just used it didn’t I?)

So I usually can out:
7 pints or 7 quarts of salsa.(This depends on wether I get 50 or 100 pounds).



7 to 20 or so quarts of diced tomatoes in their own juice.


And 5 or so pints of Red Tomato jam.


What do you mean tomato jam sounds naaaastyyyy? I thought the same thing til I had 6 pounds of tomatoes leftover and slightly adapted this recipe from my trusty Ball Blue Book. Boy it’s good on a burger. Toasted bun, caramelized onions, well seasoned burger with a nice char, and maybe blue cheese. I don’t know things could get a little crazy. Seriously it’s good. It’s a sweet and spicy jam think thick ketchup with a note of cinnamon and red pepper flake. If you’ve never had it don’t try it straight out of the jar unless you have an open palate(meaning no preconceived notion of how it “should” taste). It probably won’t taste right. Instead put it on the aforementioned burger and enjoy. Your welcome.

Tasty Burger(yes my husband prefers a charcoal briquette)

Red Tomato Jam-Yield: about 5 half pint jars(depends on how far you cook it down)

You will need:
~6 pounds of tomatoes 
~1/2 tsp of salt
~1 tsp cinnamon
~1 Tbsp red chili flakes(More if you like hotter. Less if you don’t)
~2 tsp lemon juice(about half a lemon)
~1 tsp grated lemon peel
~3 1/2 cups of sugar

1.)Finely chop tomatoes. I like to leave peels and seeds in mine. I am lazy and I enjoy the texture. If you wish to remove the peels then by all means do so. If you have just put up 94 pounds of tomatoes you may be lazy too.
2.)Gently boil tomatoes over medium heat. Add citrus, salt, cinnamon, and chili flake.
3.)Bring to boil stirring constantly and add sugar. Stir until dissolved. Try to avoid getting tomato magma on you.
4.)Bring to a rolling boil that cannot be stirred down. Boil hard for 1 minute. Remove from heat and skim foam.

~Process~
Ladle hot jam into sterilized jars. Leave 1/4 inch of headspace. Apply lids and rings. Process in a boiling water bath canner for 10 minutes. Turn off heat and leave for an additional five minutes in canner. Remove jars and allow to cool for 12 hours. Label and store.


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