Bar None

If you’re going to make jam bars with store-bought jam, it has to be Polaner’s.

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There are rules in life, and some just aren’t worth breaking.

Jam Bars

1 cup oats

1 cup flour

1/2 cup light brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup butter, heated 10 seconds in the microwave

10 oz jar Polaner Raspberry Spreadable Fruit

Preheat oven to 350.

Combine dry ingredients.

Work the butter into the dry ingredients. You’re shooting for a crumbly mixture, with no big chunks of butter. Little clumps are ok.

Press 2 cups of the mixture into a square baking pan.

Spread jam on top. This is a bit tricky, but don’t shoot for perfection. As long as there’s a bit of jam in each section, it’ll work out ok.

Sprinkle the remaining mixture on top, and press it down lightly with your fingers.

Bake for 35 minutes, until lightly browned.

Let cool and cut into squares, then wrap each individually for an on-the-go snack.

Hot Stuff

Apologies if you end up burning your tongue, but I think this jelly delivery system is worth taking the risk.

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Jammy Biscuits

2 cups flour

4 teaspoons baking powder

2 Tablespoons sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup shortening

3/4 cup milk

Jam or jelly

Preheat oven to 425.

Mix the dry ingredients, then cut in the shortening with a knife.

Add the milk, and knead just until the dough comes together.

Press dough out about 1/2″ thick, and cut circles from it with the rim of a cup.

Make a well in the middle of each biscuit and fill it with jam.

Bake 12 minutes.

Delicious while still hot, or will keep for a few days.

Pop Over Any Time

If you’re looking for something tasty to hold your jam or jelly, may I suggest popovers?

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We find they hit the spot any time of day.

Popovers

4 Tablespoons butter

3 eggs

1 1/4 cups milk

1 1/4 cups flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

Put 1/3 Tablespoon butter in each of twelve muffin cups.

Place the muffin pan in the oven and set the heat to 375.

Whisk the eggs, then add milk, flour, and salt, stirring until combined. A few little lumps are ok.

Assuming your butter has melted, remove the pan from the oven and fill each cup three-quarters of the way with batter.

Bake for 30 minutes and enjoy hot.

Wait a Second

Canning season is in full swing.

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I began the week with tomato jam (I use this recipe, minus the ginger because I rarely have that on hand) and I’ll be ending it with peaches. Our own peach trees don’t produce much of anything yet, so we get our peaches from a local farm. The trick, when canning, is to ask the farmer for ‘seconds’. This is the fruit deemed not quite pretty enough to sell, and it comes at a steep discount. A bit is lost as you trim unusable spots – you don’t want to can with anything you wouldn’t want to eat – but a great majority of the fruit is just fine.

Ordering seconds does mean I’m on the farmer’s, and nature’s, schedule. Rather than plan which day I’m going to can, I have to wait until I get the call that the fruit is ready and rearrange my days to fit the canning in. Any inconvenience is more than made up for in the middle of winter when I’m warmed by a jar of habanero peach preserves.