Saturday, March 15, 2008

jammin' & jellin'

Last year, mom made some jellies and jams while I was home.

This year, she made a new kind of jam using the loquat. Loquats are called biwa in Japanese.

A nice thing about houses in Hawaii, is that most people have fruit trees. Our neighbor has a loquat tree, so we picked the loquats on our side of the wall and mom made jam. (By the way, in Hawaii, as long as stuff is on your side of the wall, you're allowed to pick it. This is the "rule of neighbors" as I understand it. Nothing is written down, but "you just know".)

After making the jam, we shared one bottle (there were only 2) with our neighbor and she was impressed. This jam was tart from the lemon juice that mom put in, but the texture reminded me of apricots. (Another "rule" is that whatever you make with the "stuff" you've received, you share with the person that gave you the "stuff".)

Depending on the type of fruit, mom makes jams or jellies. Like if a fruit tends to have worms, she'll make jelly from the fruit so that she can strain out the pests.

Here are some other jams and jellies that mom made before I came home and some while I was home.

Poha is Hawaiian for cape gooseberry. We used to have a poha bush, but now mom gets her poha from one of our "aunties". (In Hawaii, we call many non-related people, but family friends, "aunty" or "uncle".)

Surinam Cherry, she's made this before. And I think she got these fruit from a friend.

She also made Ohelo, this is related to the cranberry and only grows near the Volcano area on the Big Island. Ohelo is the Hawaiian name for it. I remember visiting Grandma's and stopping on the side of the road to pick these berries. Mom got the berries to make this jelly from the "aunty" that gave her the poha.

Do you make your own jams and jellies? If so, or if not, what is your favorite?

Have a nice weekend!


2kamuela47 said...

Unfortunately I don't make jellies or jams but have been fortunate to receive them for Christmas. So each year the guava and lilikoi jellies or jams have to be stretch till I get another one the following Christmas.
Guava is my all time favorite but lilikoi is closely behind. BTW, your mom always makes interesting stuff. Take care!

angie said...

the surnam cherry jam sounds soo. good! i've never made jam before but am always happy when my cousin makes kiwi jam and gives us a jar =)

K & S said...

Guava is my favorite too, Laura.

Kiwi sounds tart but nice, Angie!

Take care you two.

Lori said...

A long time ago I used to help my mom make guava jelly from the fruits in the backyard.

It's hard to choose, but one of my favorites would have to be ohelo. :)

K & S said...

That is so cool that you had guava in your backyard, Lori!

Take care.

tamakikat said...

Hi there.
Jams and jellies are great.
I remember picking friends and our neighbours fruit-with unspoken permission. My friends, C's family, had a can attached to a long pole for picking plums high up.
We used to have homemade strawberry and plum jam as well as lemon curd from home, friends or fairs.
However, we usually had our fruit fresh or-in the case of apples and rhubarb-stewed.
At the moment we have lemons, guavas, feijoas, oranges, tangelos, tamarillos and grapefruit growing in the garden. It's a shame I won't be able to eat the fruit. Nowadays, since us kids aren't around to eat everything Mum's friends come over to pick the fruit. I always get surprised to see people go down the side of the house without announcing themselves-Mum's often out so they just go straight to it as if she's around the doors will be open but I close and lock them if I'm by myself.


K & S said...

Hi Tamakikat,
Wow, your house sounds like a wonderful place with lots of fruits :) It is a shame that you won't be able to enjoy the ones growing in the garden.
See you in Japan!

Nim said...

How cool! We have a loquat tree, and I'd never thought of making jam. Do you peel and pip first, or just strain it once it's cooked?

K & S said...

Hi Nim,
Mom peeled, pitted then sliced the loquat. Cooked it with sugar and some lemon juice until soft. She didn't strain it at all. :)

Hope you like it. Take care.

A Taste Of Blighty said...

We've never made Jam before, but have high hopes for our new Raspberry canes.

Raspberry Jam on hot toast, yum :-)

K & S said...

I hope you come back and let us know how your jam turns out, ATOB!

Take care.

Nim said...

Hmm, peeling and pitting loquats is seriously time consuming - I take my hat off to your Mum!

rowena said...

Aiiiya! Kat I just love this post, your mom is just super cool to have made all of these -- poha, surinam cherry and ohelo?!? I'm jealously wishing that I could have some of those!

Anway, it was your mention of loquat that caught my eye because I had written about the nespola in Europe, only to learn that it is also loquat aka japanese medlar! time it's the season I'm going to try making jam. I tried making liqueur (what a boozer), only to be totally disappointed in the results. Thanks so much for this great post!

K & S said...

Nim, she would pick some (like a handful), pit and peel then freeze them. Repeat. One quart sized freezer bag was all she needed to make 2 little jars of jam.

I guess I missed that post on the loquat liquer. I hope you get a chance to make some Nespola jam this time, Rowena!

Take care you two.

Michelle Toratani said...

Hi K & S,

I just stumbled upon your blog. I'm JA Hawaii girl now living in Australia, who's whole paternal side comes from Osaka so I can sort of relate with you and yet it's foreign too (know what I mean?) Anyway, I make lots of jams and jellies every year no matter what the season. I actually am begging my friends to take some because my jam shelf is overflowing. Just recently made apricot and strawberry but guess what? I moved into a place where there is a GUAVA tree growing here - the kind we have in Hawaii where it's yellow outside and pink inside. OH my god, it's sooo ONO. I made homemade guava jelly and freeze the puree to make guava chiffon cake. I never knew that guavas can grow in Mediterranean climates!


K & S said...

Hi Michelle,
I'm so glad that you have a guava tree where you are! Just to be close to things from Hawaii would make me smile! Enjoy!
Take care and thanks for stopping by!