Tomato Basil Jam

Things I’m looking forward to enjoying again once I’ve delivered this baby:

  1. Sleeping on my stomach.
  2. Taking hot baths.
  3. Driving my car (I haven’t safely fit behind the wheel of my car since June).
  4. Eating an obnoxious amount of sugar all at once – like a big fat cinnamon roll. Or a thick slice of German Chocolate Cake. Or a pile of my grandma’s chocolate chip cookies. Or a package of Reese’s Peanut Butter Pumpkins. Or bowl of Baskin Robin’s peanut butter and chocolate ice cream…
  5. Having more than 4 shirts to choose from.
  6. Wearing shoes other than flip-flops.
  7. Ordering my favorite sushi roll – spicy tuna with avocado – from Mr. Le’s.
  8. Regaining emotional control – everything, and I mean EVERYTHING, makes me cry these days.

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Tomato Basil Jam

Before I got pregnant I enjoyed trying to predict all of the crazy and bizarre things I thought I might crave. I imagined waking up in the middle of the night and screaming at my husband, “CRAB RANGOON – NOW!!!”.  Or making myself peanut butter-jelly-nacho cheese Dorito’s sandwiches as an afternoon snack. But, unfortunately, I have no stories of weird cravings to share.

I can tell you that on Christmas Eve, the day before we found out we were pregnant, I was the most thirsty I ever remember being, and all I wanted was Vitamin Water. On our way to my grandmother’s house in McPherson I had Jeff pull over at least 3 times to buy bottles of it for me to drink.

And then there have been multiple evenings where I’ve really wanted something salty – tater tots from Sonic, big fat cheese burgers, piles of hot crispy fries. Those were perhaps some of my husband’s favorite of our pregnant moments because those are all of his favorite things.

Today, however, I finally had an unusual craving. I had an overwhelming urge to make tomato jam. It’s sweet, it’s salty, it’s flavorful and depending on how hefty your pinch of cayenne is, it might even pack a punch. It’s the perfect way to use up any less than perfect garden tomatoes that have been sitting on your kitchen counter. And the things you can do with it!  Pair it with cream cheese on crackers for a beautiful and simple hors d’oeuvres. Spread it on a burger. Sneak it into a grilled cheese sandwich. Serve it with grilled chicken or steak. Or simply use it to add some glamour to your homemade biscuits.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb fresh tomatoes, peeled
  • 3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 15 leaves of basil, torn into pieces
  • juice of one lemon
  • 1/2-3/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 c white sugar
  • hefty pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 3-4 strips of lemon peel

Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a medium sauce pan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and allow to simmer until tomato mixture has thickened, about one hour. Stir and mash down frequently during cooking.
  2. Remove lemon peel.
  3. Can in prepared jars.

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