No More Store-Bought Jams! by Abby Coughlin

Hello, my name is Abby, the daughter of Sandy, and my mom asked me to write this post today. I am here to tell you why my family does not like store bought jams and jellies.

My first reason is that my mom spoils us with her famous strawberry, apple and pear jams. My second reason NOT to buy store-bought jam is, why waste your money on non-fresh jellies when all you have to do is make it yourself? Plus you get more out of the batch than just buying one jar of jam. My final reason is the joy of making it by yourself, or with your daughter.

I love to eat my Mom’s jams on toast, waffles, pancakes, peanut butter and jellies, and ice cream!

I especially love making jams with my Mom, because she means a lot to me.

Wow! Thank you Abby (age 11) – this story is not only going in your scrapbook, I think we have a future writer in our household!

I went to the local orchard this last week to buy more Bartlett Pears. I was reminded again of the joy of jam-making this last Sunday, when I took 2 lugs of over-ripe pears and made beautiful jars full of yummy goodness! What I like about making jam is that your fruit doesn’t have to be perfect! That works for me!

I asked Abby if she’d write me a story on why she preferred homemade jam and I love that she was willing to give it a try! Yet another memory was created in her little mind and one more seed was planted, as we talked about one more homemaking skill. Not a required one, but one that she may want to consider when she becomes an adult.

Our family makes it, we eat it, and we love to give it away!

Yes, we are a homemade jam kind-of-a family!!

Yummy Pear Jam

8 cups of pears (I peel, put in my Cuisinart, puree but leave chunky)
3 1/2 cups sugar
1 T cinnamon
½ tsp. ginger
¾ tsp. cloves
½ tsp. nutmeg

Mix together; cook on low. Jar the cooked jam. Bring your canner water to a boil (a hot water bath is all you need – no pressure canner necessary), put the jars in and PROCESS FOR 15 minutes. Remove, cool, and … ENJOY!

22 comments on “No More Store-Bought Jams! by Abby Coughlin”

  1. Cant wait to try this,have to get another canner,ours went bye bye in the move. Can you use Spenda in place of the sugar? And how long does this jam keep in the fridge?
    Thanks for in idea. Great job Abby!Keep writing, its genetic! :)
    Sandy E

  2. Okay … I have a “Carrot Cake” Jam that I’ve been dying to try, but have been intimidated by the whole “canning” process. I think I’ll give in and give it a try soon! Thanks for that push!

  3. Hey Sandy,
    Thanks for another great recipe – I am going to try this one! And a big congrats to Abby on a very well written post! :)


  4. Wonderful job, Abby!

    You know, I made my very first batch just this summer…the easy freezer jam kind, and it was a great way to start…once I made it, I realized how easy it can be and wondered why I was so intimidated all these years! :)

  5. Oh, yes!!! I agree there is nothing quite like making your own Jams and Jellies. Store bought, just can’t compare!!

  6. LOVE your blog…not sure if i’ve ever commented, but truly you do “do it all for the glory of God”. I cook/bake w/my sweet daugther…almost daily! She is 5 and it is truly the best time. I really really wnat to try canning…but I”m a ‘by the book’ chef and I get nervous…I have a few Qs…

    you say “cook on low” – how long? Am I looking for change in consistency or just to heat thru?

    DONT LAUGH – newbie here – when filling jars and then setting in “canner water” that is at a boil, how FULL is the water vessel? How high on jars should it come? I’m assuming lids ON, right? (I said dont laugh!!)And, when you say “process 15 minutes” – I”m guessing you mean leave in the H2O for that long.


    Cant wait to take our FIRST try!!!! (either can Maya, my daughter)

  7. Oooh, I was SO hoping you would include a recipe!! I think we will head to the farm today to get some pears! My family loves eating our homemade apple butter & applesauce and since I just learned how to can last month, I am eager to try more ideas!!
    Thank you!

  8. Great job Abby!! I can’t come up with better reasons to buy store-bought, that’s for sure.

    Can I ask a question though?? I have never canned so this may seem like a stupid question to some. Can you use the same lids? I mean the ones that pop. Can you reuse those or is it a one time only lid?


  9. Very inspiring! Your family and friends are blessed!

  10. I’ve made jam a couple of times, but I think I need a refresher course :)!!

  11. What a great post Abby. You did a great job.

    What great love she has for her mom.

  12. Thanks Abby, for your thoughts! :)
    Someday I will make homemade jams with my kids.
    Sandy, I am having my dad over this weekend for a cozy dinner of chicken pot pie. Sound familiar?

  13. Hey Ladies! Rebecca, I just use a hot water bath for making my fruit or jams. No need for a pressure cooker canner.
    Kim, this is the only apple recipe that I use :)
    Momrn2, I’ve never made raspberry jam (because of the seeds!) and my friend Pam always trades hers with me :) But I looked it up and they say you can actually skim them off the top — give that a try?
    Yay for fun questions! :)

  14. Canning is something I’m too intimidated to do…I love the idea of giving away homemade jams as gifts though. That is just awesome!!


  15. Pear jam is my absolute favourite! My mom used to make it all the time, but hasn’t for quite a few years.

    Canning is something that intimidates me a little (I know, it’s silly — and I’m very experimental in the kitchen, so it doesn’t really make sense at all that I’m afraid to try this!), but since I can’t bring my canner to a boil on our stove, I’ve used that as an excuse. I’ve since discovered that it can actually be done in the oven as well, so I’ve lost my convenient excuse, but still haven’t tried it.

    I love that Abby loves making jam with you and sees it as a special time together. Very beautiful.

  16. I love making my own jams too! I cannot wait to teach my children.

    I LOOOOOOOOOVE your blog! :)

    it’s very inspiring!

  17. great post abby!

    we are a homemade jelly/jam family as well. my girlfriends and i made SO much grape jelly this year from grapes in my backyard. not only was it free fruit- it was also an amazing way to build relationships.

  18. Welcome to blogging Abby! What a GREAT job you did!! :-)

    We are a freezer jam family here. My children don’t even like the “store” jelly. Our favorite is strawberry but we also did raspberry last year with the berries off our bush.

    Sandy, this may be a simple and dumb question, but do you know a simple and fairly mess free way to remove the seeds from the raspberry jam?

    The texture of the seeds is difficult to tolerate for one of my children. Just curious if there is a way to do that….

    By the way, Thanks for all your recipes too! We did your spicy chicken chili last night. It is now a new favorite! Thanks!! :-)

  19. Great post Abby! Thanks for the recipe Sandy, I can’t wait to try it.

  20. Sandy,

    I found your blog the other week and I love it!! So many questions that I have for you about “life” and what you do, etc. Anyway, I was wondering if you have a recipe that you use for apple jelly? Or do you just make the apple butter? I have some apples left and what to put them to good use.
    Thanks so much!

  21. Yay, Abby!! Great post!

    Love the photos, too.

  22. Do you use a pressure canner or a cold pack canner? I think the second is basically a big kettle without a timer is that correct? My Mom has already gone to Heaven and there are so many things I have forgotten or needed to ask her. Thank you for your Blog. You are a blessing.

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