This week I decided to take a look at what I had in my pantry that should be used up before another summer is upon us and I find myself again in the kitchen canning. I quickly discovered that I had several jars of aging jam that needed to be used. I don’t do more than a couple batches of jam a year simply because we can never use it up quickly enough, as is evidenced by the jar of blueberry jam I decided to use this week. It was dated 2005. Not kidding. Needless to say, I needed a plan to use this up quickly. I just wish my kids really liked PB&J.

I actually have 4 jars of similar vintage: 2 blueberry and 2 rhubarb. Because my husband hates rhubarb and voices this loudly, which naturally insights a riot with the children, I figured I would stick with the safety of the blueberry. I also wanted to play with using my new kitchen torch and decided that the best plan was to make a jam-filled cupcake with a marshmallow frosting that I could brulee. Unfortunately, I used the 1-2-3-4 cake recipe from Paula Dean that I memorized ages ago just because it would be fast and didn’t require any research on my part. Sadly, I forgot that this cake is also somewhat flavorless. I should have added orange extract or zest, which would have been nice with the blueberry, but sadly, I did not. Don’t get me wrong, these are still very edible. They are already half gone. Sadly, my master plan to use my new kitchen torch only sort of worked out. My oldest boy, who is probably like other boys his age, is part pyromaniac. He came running the minute I started this thing up and then insisted that he was skilled enough to take over and finish this for me. I let him toast all of these as I spun them on a plate. It was actually good fun. He loved it when the paper would catch on fire. He is easily entertained that way. I try not to discourage the kids in the kitchen, so what could I do. I had to let him attempt to burn the place down!

In addition to the 4 jars of vintage jam, I found 2 jars of anemic looking pickled beets. Sadly, these were put up only last year. I took one out and tried it and it tasted fine, but I couldn’t get past the look so I tossed them into the compost. BLAH! I also have 3 cases of canned pears from our harvest just last year. Seriously folks, what am I going to do with all of that?! The kids love pears, but not that much!!

I am now toying with ideas for the rhubarb jam. I will keep you posted!




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