Using up preserves, part 1

This month, I am giving thought to all the annoying half-filled jars of
preserves that haunt my fridge door (and maybe yours, too). Orphaned jars
of jams, relishes, pickles… what’s a cook to do with them?

Let’s start with jam!

I am guilty of opening several flavours of jam at once because MOODS… This
means an unruly crowd of Mason jars perpetually inhabiting the fridge
shelves. I should add they’re of a recent enough vintage not to be
moldy—check yours, too, to make sure, and always make a practice of adding
date labels whenever you make homemade preserves.

Here are some ideas for using up jam:

1. Pancake syrup: Mix whatever’s in the jar with some water, apple or
orange juice and warm it up on the stove. Some favourite combinations:
blueberry jam/lemon juice, strawberry-rhubarb/orange juice,
blackberry/apple juice or cider. Save money on maple syrup this winter!

2. Trifle: a super easy but impressive English dessert. You’ll need a
white cake cut into chunks, custard (OK to use vanilla instant Jello—I
won’t tell!), and jam. Layer them in a glass baking dish and serve!

3. Vinaigrette: Some of those fruity jam flavours make a superb salad
dressing: think raspberry, peach, or my favorite, blueberry! Just add jam,
olive oil, and vinegar (red wine or light balsamic are good choices) to
your blender with some fresh garlic, a bit of salt, and some herbs et

4. Thumbprint cookies: You remember them…they’re that cute shortbread
where you push your thumb into the centre to make a well for jelly or jam.
Raspberry is a favourite centre, or try strawberry, or red or black
currant. Here’s a great recipe!

How do you like to use up your homemade jams and jellies?