Kids Corner


Memories Are Strange, Aren’t They?
Home-Made Plum Jam





Memories are strange, aren’t they?

When I was 10 years old, I ate home-made plum jam for the first time, made by my Nani (maternal grandmother). The memory of that first taste has been with me since.

This past weekend, I took the plunge and ventured to make plum jam for the first time (plums being on sale helped).

Washed and cut the plums and drizzled them with sugar.

Cooked them, surrounded with memories of my Nani and Mother – both excellent cooks.

Sterilized the bottles (hardest part).

Poured the hot jam into the sterilized bottles.

Turned the bottles upside down for the jam to settle. (Felt like I was giving birth)

Bottles went into the boiling water, and my heart skipped a beat.

Waited for 10 minutes; carefully removed the bottles. Waited patiently for them to cool.

Drooled as I waited.

Warmed a croissant, spooned the jam on the plate and ...

What can I say?

Delicious! Truly worth the effort!

Sharing a bottle with someone special; the rest are for home consumption (Husband’s orders)!

Confession: My Nani’s jam tasted better!


6 lbs plums
2 cups sugar


1   Cut 6 lbs of plums in half, pit them and place in a large mixing bowl. Drizzle well with 2 cups sugar (the recipe called for 3 cups; I used 2 – perfect for me). Let plums sit at room temperature with the sugar for about 1 hour, or until sugar is somewhat dissolved.

2   Transfer plums / sugar mixture into a large cooking pot.

3   Cook uncovered and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Simmer for about 1.5 hours – covered at times. Check consistency – it thickens more as it cools down.

4   Transfer boiling jam to sterilized bottles.

To sterilize the jars: Wash your jars and lids with warm water and soap. Let them dry in the oven at 215 for about 20 minutes or until completely dry. Boil the lids 5 min.

Transfer your boiling hot jam to the jars using a glass measuring cup, leaving about 1/2′′ space on top.

Screw the lids on enough to keep a tight seal in place but don’t over-tighten them since air bubbles need to be able to escape. Place them in boiling water for 10 minutes. Water should be above the bottles.

Carefully remove from pot and let cool to room temperature. Leave bottles untouched; you will hear the seals popping.

Note: When cooled, check jar lids for seals. Lids should not flex up and down when center is pressed. If the lid cannot be lifted off, the lid has a good seal. If a lid does not seal well, use the jam within a week.


September 5, 2014

Conversation about this article

1: Harinder Singh 1469 (New Delhi, India), September 05, 2014, 12:49 PM.

I was told that any person who has the art of writing, the art of painting, the art of being civilized ... will always be good in making anything beautiful. And sharing them with the world. Yet another art, Inni ji -- and a yummy one at that.

2: Daljit Singh (Surrey, British Columbia, Canada), September 05, 2014, 2:10 PM.

My first reaction from your homepage was that my wife had taken pictures and sent to them to LOL. I only like plum jam and make 10-12 jars every summer with fresh local produce from British Columbia. Coincidentally, the jars look identical to the ones here. Nothing like home-made jam. An art my sister and mom taught me years ago.

3: Harinder Singh (Bridgewater, New Jersey, USA), September 05, 2014, 3:40 PM.

Seems like Inni bhain ji's got her own mantra on life: Write, Paint, Cook. I am privileged to have savored all three of her offerings. Incidentally, last week when I told my kids, Gani Kaur and Jodha Singh, while eating plum that it is 'aalu bukhara' in Punjabi - they spurted: "What? Potato-fever?"

4: Sangat Singh (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia), September 06, 2014, 3:24 AM.

May I share a comment from my dearest childhood friend, Jugraj (Col. J. Kahai, Rtd)? "Sangat just wanted to share with you some memories? Normally after a meal there is always a sweet for me. Today there was none. So I called for a roti and melted ghee and shukker (sugar). And while eating it, remembered Amar bhainji who always gave it to me after my breakfast when I was passing through Ludhiana. She was a great sister both for you and me. She has left behind a legacy of love which we will always remember. Just wanted to share it with you. Love -- Jugraj." I lost my mother when I was just about 10. Bhainji Amar was the eldest in the family and took upon herself the role of the mother. She spared no efforts to spoil me and my friends. Jugraj forgot that she would add some malaaee to the ghee and shukker too. Nearly all children are fussy about food and I remember my little nephew pushing the plate away: "I don't like it!" and my sister's remark: "You better eat as one day you will be telling your wife that no one cooked food like his mother did!" I am sure Inni ji mixed that special ingredient of love in her plum jam and sealed it tight. That ambrosial food has also been immortalised when a lady presented the simple fare to Guru Arjan who needed food at that time: "To gather in the Lord's wealth and to taste the food of the Lord's Name - Nanak has made this his feast." [GGS:672.6]

5: Sangat Singh (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia), September 06, 2014, 8:45 PM.

Adding to my comment, there is a Gurdwara Chohla Sahib (not to be confused with robe) in the village Chohla near Taran Taran. When Guru Arjan visited this place, it was then called Bhaini. A housewife served him a delicious dish of chohia, broken bread mixed with sugar and butter (churi). Guru Sahib was pleased and blessed her. It was then he uttered a hymn of thanks: "The Lord is our life and soul. He cares for us everywhere in every respect." Its last line was: "God is our wealth, His Name is our food; this, 0 Nanak, is our chohla." [GGS:672.6]

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Home-Made Plum Jam"

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