We have a loquat tree in our yard. Now if you've never seen a loquat, it's a small fleshy fruit, kinda like a plum, but more loquatish. My kids love them and eat them right off the tree. But our tree produces way more loquats than even my 4 constantly-starving-because-I-never-feed-them kids can eat. So what to do with all these freakin' loquats? Invite your friend Sara over and we be jammin'.
I've only made jam once before when we lived in Germany about 9 years ago. Our ever so kind neighbors brought us an enourmous pail of mirabellen (which I think is some kind of plum) from their tree. So I looked up how to make jam and it was much easier than I thought. I have memories of my mom making peach jam and it always looked so complicated. Sterilizing jars, pectin, wax to seal the jars. And I'm sure the kind of canning she did was way more intense. I'm just way more of a slacker than my mom was. So I found a recipe without the sterilizing, pectin and pesky wax and I recruited help.
So we start by picking the fruit off the tree. And by "we", of course I mean my fruit picking slave, Sara. When I'd flogged her into picking off all the fruit she could reach we head inside to make some jam. Sara is a jam virgin. I of course am the much older, more experienced jam whore having done this...um....well once before. I'd probably be a jam madam though because it's a little more classy. The truth is, I'm probably too old to not have moved up into madam-dom by now. I think I could run a pretty good jam brothel. You know if I had to. I think I'd have to move to Nevada though....
After the great moral debate of to peel or not to peel, Sara carefully weighs the options and decides peel. So we peel off the skins, cut them in half and de-pit.
The fruit is piled high in the pot and we add water and some fresh grated ginger and simmer. This is my Elizabeth Taylor "White Diamonds" anti-aging photo of the simmering process. Hmmmm. If this works for Elizabeth Taylor maybe I should have a simmering pot of loquats nearby for that anti-aging photo effect next time I get my picture taken. Now where are my reading glasses so I can read the recipe? Oh, we need to add sugar now. What a minute. This page is filled with recipes for preserves, jellies and marmalades. What is the flippin' difference anyway?
And if this question gives you the burning desire to google and know the answer, I have done the legwork for you.
Jelly is made from fruit juice.
Jam is made from pureed fruit.
Preserves are made from whole fruit.
Marmalade is made from juice with zest and pulp.
What the hell? You mean all this time we've been preserving and not jamming? Are you freakin' kidding me? And I thought preserving is something women of my age do at night time with red wine. That's how I wanna be preserved anyway. Oh my god, next time we could preserve ourselves some plum wine! Do you know how many great antioxidants would be in that to preserve my 40 something year old body? I wonder if you can get wine making paraphernalia at the medina or if I'd have to special order that from the states?
That's when I remembered that I bought some belly dancing cd's yesterday and they have a song from class on it. So Sara and I made this quick music video while the jam was setting. You may not recognize me at first because I have a moustache (I haven't waxed in a while ok...another great thing about getting old is the increased facial hair.) Sara is dancing and check out the back bend she does at the end. AMAZING!
If video doesn't play click here:
And if that doesn't work then you can copy and paste old school style. Welcome to how things work (and or don't in Morocco)....
Ok, the truth is Sara and I couldn't remember how the dance started, or the middle, or really the end either. We tried to remember it, but I think we were in jamming mode and not well, jammin' mode. Wait, isn't memory loss part of the aging process? I'm not sure I remember that correctly...