Jam is fruit, preserved, with lots of sugar. It is chunky yet spreadable. It is pure genius in a jar in your refrigerator.
I like jam. I Really like jam. I like apricot best but I like raspberry second. My mother used to make apricot preserves; this is how I became oriented to such an uncommon favorite flavor. The cheap generic kind with way too much sugar is best. Raspberry MUST have its seeds. Jam.
jmc and I often sing a jam-oriented song that goes a little something like this:
Elephants peanuts elephants and jam; jam jam elephants and peanuts, jam!
Sing it over your jam sandwich! You will like it! You have my personal quality guarantee.
Jam is the saviour of breakfasts everywhere. Just add your toast eggs and tea (assam, with milk) and you have a fabulous and nutritionally balanced meal incorporating members of all four food groups! Especially if you put cheese in the eggs in order to up the dairy content. I can eat jam on bread when I am nauseous to anything else (except the aforementioned tea, that I can drink just fine). This is often the case upon getting up in the morning. Who among us gets up and can't eat in the morning? Show of hands. It seems to be everybody. But you can eat your Pop Tarts when you get to class, can't you? I saw that! JAM is so far superior to false flavored sugar in a rock-hard pastry casing, I cannot accurately compare it. JAM brings new life, puts color in your cheeks before you even get out into the cold, can be eaten in combination with a variety of foods, is GOOD! JAM!
In general, jam is made by boiling crushed and pureed fruit, water, sugar, and fruit pectin (the stuff that makes the jam gel into actual jam). You can use any kind of fruit you want. After you've made the jam, you can it. Then you have a shelf full of lovely jeweltoned shiny jars in your pantry! And you can open them whenever you want, and eat your own personal jam!
I am such a sucker for jam that I have to consciously try not to buy any when I go to the store. There is so much jam in the refrigerator. For instance, the other day I got some strawberry rhubarb from American Spoon, www.spoon.com, that is just brilliant. There was also one of plum jam and but I already had the strhubarb (I would just like to point out that you can contract "strawberry rhubarb" to "STRHUBARB") and so I valiantly with MUCH VALOUR resisted.
I like Dickinson's orange marmalade, although this is marmalade as opposed to jam. Other marmalades just do not cut it. Seriously, I could not find this stuff for a long time, and was suitably irked, and then I found it when I was in Cleveland for a weekend and fell upon it with glad cries. That was a pretty literal description. And then I had to open it and bring the total up to nineteen jars of partially eaten jam, preserve, or marmalade product in the refrigerator.
Side note. Jelly (American terminology here: jelly, not jello or gelatin business) is just not to be eaten. I'm sorry, it's so overprocessed and liquefied and has approximately zero fruit left in it. You want the real stuff, with texture. Jam or preserves and that is IT. Do not be fooled! Accept no substitutes!
You put your jam on decent bread toasted to light golden brown and buttered, as in "fuck this, I'm having butter". Continue to accept no substitutes! Or on English muffins, to which you do the same. Sweet breads already have their own sweetness; you need plain sandwich bread (but Good plain sandwich bread) or sourdough in order to fully appreciate the contrast of textures and flavors. If you are using said jam more as a garnish than as the main deal, you do whatever floats your boat. You can do no wrong with jam. You put it on any any different kind of bread or otherwise flour-oriented baked good, as long as that baked good is not already stuffed with say spinach and feta, or ham egg and cheese. Any plain baked good only desires jam. O luscious combination of apricot jam and cheap yellow cake from a mix! O fabulous seeded raspberry on English muffins! O blueberry and melting butter over buckwheat pancakes!
IN CONCLUSION, JAM!
Here are some fine jam resources:
http://www.spoon.com (HIGHLY RECOMMENDED)