Which Contains Far Too Many Confusions...

Melissa Proffitt Melissa at Proffitt.com
Mon Mar 26 14:33:38 EST 2001

On Mon, 26 Mar 2001 16:54:19 +0100, Rowland, Jennifer A B wrote:

>> JOdel at aol.com wrote:
>>>So far as I can see, in standard usage, the one called "jelly" is just jam
>>>that doesn't have any seeds or pulp. (Strained fruit preserves) Jello is a
>>>whole different animal.
>Melissa wrote:
>>Jelly (the non-Jello kind) is made with gelatin also, as far as I know.
>>While I've never stooped to making my own preserves, I have many friends
>>relatives who do.  So I've seen it done and been the recipient of others'
>>labors.  :)
>As far as I know (IANAjam-maker) jam is usually set with pectin, not
>gelatin. This is a gummy protein that occurs naturally in fruit (although
>there isn't enough of it in some fruits to set jam and one has to add
>extra). The sacred family recipies of your friends-and-relations may have
>their quota of gelatin, of course.

I am not sure.  Pectin is certainly important, but in passing the
canning-supply aisle at the store, gelatin is very prominent.  Jelly is
different in substance than jam--it's possible to dump it in a solid mass
from jar to plate.  My husband's grandmother gave us several little jars of
things she'd preserved herself, and there's one or two I'm afraid to open
because I have no idea what's inside the jellied mass.  But I don't make the
stuff either, so what do I know?

In fact, what is most popular now among the can-it-yourself crowd is
"freezer jam", and again, I'm not privy to the secrets of the guild, but I
*think* the appeal is that it's less time-consuming or complicated or
something.  You have to store the jam in the freezer (of course) because
it's not fully preserved, or something...it spoils on the shelf.

And to return to a literary thread:  I've never been farther out of this
country than Niagara Falls, and all my experience with other countries is
through literature (and lately this list of course).  So sometimes the foods
I read about aren't explained to my satisfaction.  For example, in the US a
"pickle" is always a pickled cucumber, but it sounds like the English pickle
all sorts of things...the reason this is literary is I was thinking about
Mary Norton's _Bed-knob and Broomstick_ and how Miss Price turns to
gardening and food storage as a replacement for witchcraft.  All those jars
of food.  What I'm mainly curious about is what it's really like nowadays.
Do you buy jars of pickled beets and onions, or is that the sort of thing
only strange people who live on granola make in their kitchens?

Melissa Proffitt
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