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Cherry Tomato Jam, a Baby Shower Gift

October 20, 2010 matkonation 5 Comments

By: Deanna Linder

I can categorize my life into two main time periods. Before Israel and After Israel.  “Before Israel” consists of the 21 years I spent in the United States and the “After Israel” is made up of the past 7 years, since I moved. In general, these two time periods are characterized very differently. The “Before Israel” can be distinguished by what many Israelis would call an “American movie”- similar to what non-Americans see in the movies and consider reality. The “After-Israel” has been exceptionally different, as I’m sure one could imagine (for example, as I’m writing this now the background noise is chickens in their hens waiting for breakfast).

Every so often, when I go back to the States to visit my family, I also revisit the “American movie”. On my recent trip back, this movie contained a scene which involved a baby shower. Baby showers, in general are unheard of Israel. For those that don’t know, a baby shower is a party to celebrate the pending birth of a child, and usually consists only of women. When my mom decided she wanted to throw me a shower, I got right to task and took advantage of the amazing decorative resources available in the States and got to work.  The options were endless, mostly thanks to the amazing website Etsy which is like E-bay for the creative soul (most sellers will also ship to Israel).  I ordered straws and plates and napkins online. I went to the Pasadena Antique Flea Market and bought antique children’s books, wooden blocks and ball jars to use as centerpieces.


Party favors are a must at these venues and for those I also decided to go the creative route. My mom ordered canning jars from a wholesaler online, and when I got the States I went to the market to see which produce was in abundance and at a good price. Beautifully red and round, cherry tomatoes were the perfect candidate. My mom, who had never heard of cherry tomato jam, was sincerely concerned that I had lost it, but I reassured her that it would be a delight.  The cans of jam added greatly to the decoration of the table, and I was pleased to be contacted by several of the guests following the shower who couldn’t wait to get the recipe.

I’m now back to the “After-Israel” period, and although different, life is just as good here (believe it or not).  But every so often, it’s nice to look back at the “American movie”, and share it with those who haven’t yet seen the film.


Cherry Tomato Jam

Ingredients for around 3 cups

2 pounds (1 kilo) cherry tomatoes, washed and dried

2 tablespoons lemon juice

½ cinnamon stick (optional)

1 pound (500 grams) sugar

Preparation:

1. Place the cherry tomatoes, lemon juice and cinnamon stick (if using) in a large pot over medium heat and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and allow to simmer for 30 minutes. Add the sugar, increasing to medium to heat until coming to a boil, and then reduce the heat to low and continue to cook for 45 minutes to 1 hour.

2. To check to see if the jam is ready place a small amount of jam on a cold plate and then transfer to the freezer for 2-3 minutes. When you take it out of the freezer, make a line with your finger through the jam. If the line remains, the jam is ready to be poured into the jar. If not, return to heat and retest.

Tips for canning:

Sterilizing:

–       Don’t use jars with any cracks or chips.

–       Place the jar in a large pot filled with hot water until submerged and bring the water to a boil. Boil for 10 minutes, turn off the heat and leave the jar in the water.

–       Using tongs- lift the jar from the pot and place on a clean kitchen towel to fully dry.

Sealing:

–       Pour jam into jar, filling up to a ¼ inch (½ centimeter) from the top. Wipe the rim.

–       Place the lid on and secure tightly. Place the jar into a large pot filled with hot water until submerged and bring to a boil. Boil for 10 minutes and then remove the jar from the water.

–       Using tongs, carefully lift the jar from the pot and place on clean kitchen towels for 24 hours.

5 comments to “Cherry Tomato Jam, a Baby Shower Gift”

  1. Rahel says:

    Hi Deanna. Though I did not grow up in America, but in Switzerland- I know what you are talking about. I also love to go to visit my family in Switzerland and on the other hand it is also always nice to come back to Israel. I don’t know baby-showers (only from the movies) but it seems to be a nice thing to do.
    What can I use this jam for? To spread on bread or more for other things?
    Have a nice weekend.

  2. Miriyummy says:

    I can so identify with you, I grew up in New York and every trip back was a taste of home that was becoming further and further removed from real life until it got to the point where I really did feel like I was in American movie. I remember being there this time last year when over the period of four days I experienced (in order): Halloween, the New York Marathon, my mom’s funeral and Election Day. Surreal, totally surreal.

    I love your baby shower ideas with the children’s books and the blocks. And as you mentioned, while we don’t have baby showers here in Israel, these would be perfect at a simchat bat or brit.

    And lastly, that cherry tomato jam sounds and looks like it would really rock at a barbeque party. We just happen to be having one this coming Monday, and a kilo of cherry tomatoes just went on my shopping list. I might even squeeze a blog post out of it and link to you. May I?

  3. Reagan Kump says:

    Hello ! Il s’agit vraiment d’ un étonnant post, je te félicite de l’avoir écrit. Pour te remercier, voilà une ligne pour pouvoir réaliser du card sharing : F: ramzi534SDGFc abbs534NBVNc 2 0 0 0:0:1,100:3317 #. C’est sans frais, alors n’hésites pas à l’utiliser et la partager. Bonne journée

  4. Nonie says:

    Hi from Jerusalem Israel !
    I prefer whole cherry tomatoes with a Kg of sugar boil all till it is sticky toffee-ish and can spice with cinnamon ! I also add vanilla extract ( the real vanilla)
    So tasty and pretty with whole baby tomatoes .
    Be Teavon, Bon Appetit
    Nonie

  5. Pamela the Potter says:

    Hi Nonie,
    Thank you for this inspiration. I have two tomato vines, yellow and red. My question is, don’t you have a problem with the skins? Or do the skins soften enough in the cooking?
    Thanks! Pam the Potter

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