breakfast · brunch · dessert · easy · gluten free · jam · quick · sides · snacks · vegan · vegetarian

Cranberry Jam and Alone Time

DSC_0011I have a long standing tradition of taking myself on dates. I will randomly feel the need to take a break from socializing, and honor my introvert by simply spending the day/afternoon/evening alone, doing all my favorite things. Today was that day. I went to two yoga classes – one taught by the person that originally taught me yoga, and one taught by the person that has helped me deepen my practice in the last few months. Both classes were low-energy, with lots of slow stretching and breathing. It was just what I needed. I left each class feeling calm and grounded. After yoga, I spent some much-needed quality time with my mom, then took myself out to a “movie.” I went to see the Humpback Whale documentary at the Science Museum Omnitheatre. Guys – it was so fucking cool. At first I was concerned about the tiny screen, but then a giant screen fucking moved over the top of it! It was awesome. Everyone should go there. Go right now. You won’t be sorry.

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Sometimes the need for alone time will translate into something different than what I did today. A lot of the time, my cooking becomes my alone time. Last weekend I made cranberry jam. I became obsessed with the idea after seeing cranberries at the farmers’ market the week before. Of course, when I went to pick some up, that vendor wasn’t there. So I ended up going to my local co-op and purchasing $30 worth of cranberries. It would have been $10 at the farmers’ market, but I missed that opportunity, because I’m a dumbass.  It also turns out that I don’t love cranberry jam. So with my second batch, I added frozen blueberries. It changed everything for the better. 20151120_102325

I have been putting that shit on everything. Nothing is off limits! My favorite method of consuming jam is by adding it to an English muffin that is already topped with cream cheese. OR! On top of vanilla ice cream, maybe with a handful of dark chocolate chips. You’re welcome.

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Cranberry Jam

8 cups fresh cranberries (or 4 cups blueberries and 4 cups cranberries)

3 cups brown sugar, packed

2-3 cups waterDSC_0034

Follow canning instructions here if you want to actually can the jam(which is what I did). Otherwise, feel free to cut this recipe in half and just throw it in the fridge. It will stay fresh for a few weeks. If canning, you do not need to add pectin, as it is naturally found in cranberries.

Throw everything into a pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for around 25 minutes, stirring frequently. It will bubble quite a bit – especially if you’re only using cranberries (which thicken quickly). I had to put pants on for this, which was really fucking annoying. Hot jam splattered on your legs really hurts – don’t say I didn’t warn you.

You’re done! Can it, eat it, or bathe in it.

Side note: My family doesn’t do cranberry sauce, but if yours does, this would be a great option. Maybe just add a little cinnamon and orange zest.

20151120_101640This jam is Piper-approved.

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