FacebookTwitter

Leena Cooks and Cans: Caramelized Onion Jam…with a no-napping 2 month old

By on Aug 16, 2011 in Canning, Condiments, Jam, Leena Cooks, Recipes, Savory | 9 comments

Share On GoogleShare On FacebookShare On Twitter
Leena Cooks and Cans: Caramelized Onion Jam...with a no napping 2 month old
My caramelized onion jam with hints of balsamic and rosemary. Did you just get a mouth boner? Cuz I sure did.

So, I’m pretty sure I’m crazy. No sane person would ever try to can, let alone can jam, with a 2 month old. Especially one that refuses to nap for more than 20 minutes at a time and eats every hour and a half. What can I say? I like to roll dangerously close to the line of insanity for the sake of caramelized onions at my reach all year round. Making them from scratch every time is a bitch.

Is the jam ridiculously delicious? Hell yeah!

Was the process ridiculously hard with a baby? Fuckin’ eh.

But lucky for you, I came away with a few pointers for you other psycho moms out there interested in canning with babies. It is possible! My tips and the recipe after the jump.

 The highlights of my canning experience: there was a lot of crying at first, both from the baby for wet diapers and such, and from myself because of the massive amount of onions I chopped. You’d think I’d heard that Richard Simmons died, I was sobbing so hard.

Leena Cooks and Cans: Caramelized Onion Jam...with a no napping 2 month old
The onions, pre-caramelization and post-making me cry like a little bitch.

The trick with the baby was prepping as much of the recipe in advance as possible, and having a team of baby distracters at your disposal. For example, one of my baby distracters is the crib, which has a musical mobile the baby loves to watch for roughly 15-20 minutes at a time. This is where I stuck the baby while I chopped the onions (which you won’t have to do if you prep them the night before. I did not. Learn from my mistakes.), because really? She’s got enough to cry about on her own without adding chopped onions to the mix.

Leena Cooks and Cans: Caramelized Onion Jam...with a no napping 2 month old
My caramelized onions, which took over two hours. And these are light for my taste–I just got sick of the recipe taking so damn long!

While caramelizing the onions, which took FOREVER (almost three hours for six onions), I rotated the baby through her swing, her play mat, her Bumpo chair on the counter and finally, when she could stand to be away from me no longer, the mai tai baby carrier. And yes, I was super careful about getting too close to the stove with her on me. I even threw an apron on over her once she fell asleep to protect her from splatters. While caramelizing, I had to stop twice to feed her.

Leena Cooks and Cans: Caramelized Onion Jam...with a no napping 2 month old
I am wearing a baby carrier, a baby and an apron in this photo. I give sexy new meaning.

Once I added the sugar and started cooking the jam, I had the baby in her bouncer in the kitchen with me, but not close to the stove (jam burns like the devil).

Leena Cooks and Cans: Caramelized Onion Jam...with a no napping 2 month old
The jam just after adding the sugar and rest of the ingredients.

Another feeding, and then back into the bouncer she went so I could fill the jars and seal the cans in the canning pot.

Leena Cooks and Cans: Caramelized Onion Jam...with a no napping 2 month old
The finished jam on a rosemary cracker. It’s also delicious on grilled cheese sandwiches and burgers.

Making and Canning Jam with a baby tips:

*Make a list of what to do and baby distracters you have. Be sure to mark in the recipe where you could stop to feed the baby without messing anything up.

*Buy ingredients before canning day (I didn’t do this, and it made for one LONG day)

*Prep all ingredients night before canning day, including measuring and chopping (Do it once baby goes to bed)

*Start jam, and after you caramelize the onions, turn on the stove so the canning pot will boil

*Start cans in dishwasher on short cycle(keep in dishwasher until right before you need them so they stay warm)

*Add the sugar and start simmering onions until jam holds a gel

*Fill jars and get into canning pot ASAP

 

: Leena’s Caramelized Onion Jam

: A delicious sweet and savory jam that is perfect with cheese, burgers, soups, whatever you like! This recipe was inspired by this one on the blog Market Life. This recipe has been tested for pH and is safe to water bath can.

  1. 4 tablespoons olive oil
  2. 6 onions, large diced
  3. 2/3 cup sugar
  4. 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar (not the aged sweet stuff)
  5. 1/2 cup brandy
  6. 1/3 cup honey
  7. 7 sprigs fresh rosemary, stems removed
  8. 1 teaspoon salt
  9. 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper

  1. Heat oil in a large skillet, add onions and cook until soft and translucent on medium high heat.
  2. Once softened, lower heat to medium or medium low, and continue to cook onions until brown and caramelized. This will take a while.
  3. Add remaining ingredients and simmer on low stirring occasionally until the jam reaches the gel point. To test jam, place a small plate in the freezer for at least 10 minutes. When jam starts to get thick, remove from heat and spoon a bit onto the frozen plate, and place back in freezer for 2 minutes. If the jam barely moves and looks like a proper jam, it is done. If the jam pools juice and looks loose, place pot back on stove until thicker and test again.
  4. Pour hot jam into clean hot quarter pint jars and boil in a water bath for 10 min (15 minutes for half pint jars). Let cool and store in a dark place. Refrigerate any excess. Yields 5 quarter pints

And if you want to reward yourself for working so hard canning with a baby, I highly suggest you cook up some burgers, top them with cheese and bacon, a bit of this jam, and some sour cream. Thank me later.

To see how I tested the pH of this jam, check out this post.

~LTG!

Leena Cooks and Cans: Caramelized Onion Jam...with a no napping 2 month old

9 Comments

  1. you’re insane, woman! insanely awesome, for making this stellar jam with a damn two month old on your belly! it looks so delicious!!

    • Leena

      1 Sep ’11

      Thanks, lady! Now you know how far I will whore myself out for a delicious bite of food. 

  2. Lora

    22 Aug ’11

    Post a Reply

    awww I love the pix with the baby under your apron. I love caramelized onions. This jam looks perfect.

    • Leena

      1 Sep ’11

      Thank you, Lora. Even though she couldn’t speak, I’m pretty sure the baby was equally grateful for the apron. ;) You should give the jam a try–I’ve already gone through my first supply and need to can up another batch!

  3. Eve

    27 Aug ’11

    Post a Reply

    it looks and sounds incredible. And I so clearly remember those early days with a baby when you’d give anything for an extra pair of hands (or maybe just a full time, live in nanny)…

    • Leena

      1 Sep ’11

      Hi Eve. Ah, to have a full time nanny to do cooking prep work and to handle the baby whilst I fritter my time away cooking….that is the dream, sister. That is the dream.

  4. Deneen

    6 Sep ’11

    Post a Reply

    first time canner here – just whipped up a batch of this (if carmelizing onions for 3 hours can be considering ‘whipped up’). Can’t wait to pass it out to family & friends – but only those that will have a true appreciation!!

  5. Curious

    28 Feb ’14

    Post a Reply

    If I were to use my pressure canner, would this recipe be safe to can as is, or would I need to ph test? I don’t have any of the required instruments to PH test, but my understanding has always been that if you use a pressure canner, you are safe. I want to make this and save it for our long, cold, drippy utah winters, and have it with pears and chevre on crostini!!

    • Leena

      4 Mar ’14

      Hi Curious,
      While I could not find a source for this in my short search, I am almost positive you could use this recipe for pressure canning with little difference. If this was a pressure canning recipe, and you wanted to hot water bath can it, it would not work. But if there is enough acid in this recipe for it be safely canned at in a hot water bath canner (and there is), it should be more than enough for pressure canning, especially since pressure canning is a safe method to can low-acid foods.

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

More in Canning, Condiments, Jam, Leena Cooks, Recipes, Savory (28 of 226 articles)