So, in a world where you can buy jam at the store, where there is a whole grocery aisle devoted to it, why bother making it at home? I’ve been thinking this a lot lately, as I’ve been making bread, buttermilk, soup stock, lots of stuff from scratch that my mom, for instance, never made. What do you make from scratch?
The short answer is that I enjoy it, mostly. It feels good to have stock bubbling away in the crock pot, and then turn that stock into soup. It is kind of fun to stir fruit and watch it bubble and thicken in a pan, then spoon it into jars.
Cost enters into it as well- buttermilk costs 4 times as much at the store as it does to add some old buttermilk to fresh milk and let it culture. Once you have started a jar, you have a lifetime supply. I did a little research on line to see what organic raspberry jam would cost, and prices varied from $4-$9. I would never pay that much for jam. As it is, the berries were from my garden, so free ( ha ha, if you don’t count the labor and the water…) the pectin was about $3 for 6 jars, and it was probably $2 worth of sugar.
The quality is the last, best answer. The reason I couldn’t find the price of raspberry chocolate jam is that no one appears to sell it. And it is reallllly good. To make it, I add a tablespoon of cocoa powder to the recipe on the insert of the pectin package, and follow the other directions as stated. It could probably be done with cherry or strawberry, too. Experiment.