Lou & Lucy’s Leftovers: Jammin’ till the jam is through

  • A simple jam can save a pint of too-sour blueberries. TNS/Renee Brock

Published: 8/31/2019 12:01:17 AM
Modified: 8/31/2019 12:01:07 AM

When life gives you lemons, what do you do? Make lemonade, I guess. When life gives you a pint of blueberries that taste like lemons, what do you do? Make jam, of course.

This happened to me and that’s what I did. I didn’t make lemonade out of the lemons, ‘cuz who does that? But I did make a quick blueberry jam. It was the perfect way to deal with the nearly inedible blueberries. I surely couldn’t put them in the compost or feed the birds with them after I spent very close to five bucks on the pint. In a situation like this words from my mother’s dear friend, Janette, always come into my brain, “god forbid you throw it out while it’s fresh.” Which makes me say to myself, “you’re not going to eat it, so do something with it or it will molder in the fridge ‘till you have to get rid of it after it is no longer edible.”

This mostly applies to leftover things like a scrap of takeout Chinese food or three green beans that you can’t bear to deep-six. I’m sure you know what I’m talking about. But it also applies to the berries that I would have watched shrivel for two weeks before saying bye-bye to them.

Thus the jam. So, I took that pint of very tart berries and put them in a saucepan with 3/4 cup of sugar, a tablespoon of fresh-squeezed lemon juice, a tablespoon or two of water, and brought the mix to a boil then reduced heat to simmer for about 10 to 15 minutes, until it thickened. Voila. Cool and put in a jar.

One might say, why add lemon juice to overly tart berries? Well, the lemon juice apparently binds with the natural pectin in the blueberries to thicken the jam and preserves the jam as well. This is a refrigerator jam that needs to be used within a week or two. It only makes about one jar or so. And you don’t have to worry about all the things that go along with actual canning.

So if you have some tart berries or even not so tart, it’s super easy to make and it’s great on ice cream or spread on toast for breakfast.


I almost fainted when you wrote that you tossed some leftover takeout Chinese.

Have you no decency? Have you no shame? Have you no feelings for stale, dried-out takeout?

To paraphrase, “I’ll give you my Chinese takeout when you pry (or take) it from my cold, dead hands.”

Now I have to go order some Chinese takeout.


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