I'm baaaaack! I hope you all enjoyed your last month. I definitely did, but this going from working to stay-at-home mom stuff is a lot harder than I thought. I honestly don't know how I managed to get a lot of the stuff done that I still have to do (like cooking, cleaning, laundry, shopping, bills, etc) while working! I mean, it's a lot less hurried than it had been but still. It's there. And then hanging out with the kids – that's hard work! I knew it would be, and I knew it would be a totally different mindset than what I was used to but wow. Before it used to be “ok, I'll spend 15 minutes with them and then go put in a load of laundry and then put dinner on and etc, etc.” Endless stuff to always do so 15 minutes used to be my kid-attention span. Now it's “ok, I'll spend the next 2 hours with them and oh shit, what the heck do I do with them for TWO HOURS?”. I bought a bunch of cheap crafts at Michaels and Hobby Lobby to do after school but those seem to take 30 minutes at most. Then I panic!
So, stay-at-home moms, I NEED your help. I have my 4 year old home one day a week (he goes to preschool every other day), and my almost-7 year old is home every afternoon for a few hours. What are some age appropriate activities for me to do with them?!? Preferably inexpensive or free as quitting my job and all kind of put a big damper on the budget 🙂
Anyway – onto the reason y'all are reading this. Tomato Jam. It's like a wonderful, grown up version of ketchup and can be used as a way to elevate a hamburger or to even just be smeared on some crackers. One thing I've noticed since eating Paleo is that since we don't eat burgers with a bun, we've figured out so many creative ways to dress up a burger. It's gotten to the point that I don't even WANT a bun since why do that when you can just eat it with these awesome toppings?
It's a great recipe to make now since nice, ripe, juicy tomatoes are in season here in the US and they actually have some flavor as a opposed to middle-of-the winter grocery store tomatoes.
I'd either make this ahead of time or while the burgers are grilling. It only takes 30-40 minutes total to make and minimal prep so I'd just get it on the stove and make the rest of your dinner and then take it off as you need to serve the dinner. I will caution you though that it depends on what kind of tomato you use – a normal grocery-store variety might take a little less time than a big heirloom due to the water content, etc. So don't freak out if it does take you 40 minutes to thicken your jam up, and you can always pour out a little tomato juice midway through cooking if you need to speed things up a bit.
Use the tomato jam within a week of making. You can also can this using a hot water bath for 15 minutes at sea level with 1/4 inch headspace. Just multiply the recipe by the amount you want to make. When I can this I typically put it into either 4 oz or pint jars for my family of 4.
Tomato Jam – A Fun Alternative to Ketchup!
- 1 lb Tomatoes, diced (skin on, with seeds)
- 1/4 Onion, diced
- 1/2 Lemon, juiced
- 1/4 Apple, diced finely
- 1 tbs Honey
- 1 tbs Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1/4 tsp Salt
- 1/8 tsp Coriander
- 1/8 tsp Cumin
- 1/8 tsp Allspice
- 1/8 tsp Ground Ginger
- Put all of the ingredients into a large saucepan and bring to a boil.
- Turn the heat down to a good simmer and stir occasionally, until the mixture has thickened, 20-40 min (more watery tomatoes will take longer – you can always pour out a bit of tomato juice if you need it quicker).
- Remove from heat and if you desire, use a hand immersion blender or put into a blender/food processor to get a smoother consistency.
- Either use immediately or store in the refrigerator for up to a week.