You will never hear me use the word guilt in association with food and eating. Personally, I think it is a damaging word that has shaped our thoughts on eating habits, weight and health for far too long.
That being said, I have one exception.
When this time of year rolls around and I see hot peppers so heavy on the plant that they touch the ground, and tomatoes that are ripe, but a little ugly, I start to feel guilty. It’s food, I can’t let it go to waste! And while I’m exhausted from thinking of ways to use it, I just can’t leave it out there to rot, or pull up the plants knowing they have some life left in them.
So with a full freezer, I turned to a little more canning this past week.
First up? Tomato jam.
I’d been entertaining the idea of making tomato jam, most of the summer, but never committed. Then I found a recipe from Food in Jars for Orange Tomato Jam with Smoked Paprika. It was the smoked paprika that got me. I love that stuff!
So I gathered up the last of the tomatoes, and got cooking. Our orange tomato plants are done producing, but I still had Better Boy and San Marzano hanging on. They worked perfectly. I also used dried ginger (half the amount) instead of fresh, and skipped the cayenne simply because I didn’t have any dried on hand.
You can find the recipe on the Food in Jars blog. This jam is the perfect balance of sweet, spicy and smoky. Next year, I will be pulling this recipe out early to get a head start during prime tomato season. Yes, it’s that good.