Sharing Food and Memories with Friends and Family

March 29, 2015
Irene Saiger


Cherry Tomato Jam

IMG_2500It had been seven years since our last visit but as soon as we exited the plane everything felt familiar.  We drove straight to Jerusalem where we spent the next several days.  Staying in Rechavia, we walked everywhere, but mainly we returned to the places we had been before, including two of my favorites, Yemin Moshe and Machane Yehuda.  Walking through the shuk was a great reminder of Israel’s love affair with fresh fruits and vegetables.   The consumers were passionate, maybe more so than the vendors, both young and old, men and women, looking in stall after stall before making their final choices.  There were things I had not seen before, miniature dark green acorn squash just big enough for an individual serving,  mounds of colorful mixes of dried fruits for tea infusions, dried legumes including roasted and salted fava beans ready to eat, tiny melons the size of a grapefruit, and of course the spices….

We had one week to pack in as much as possible.  The days revolved around seeing our family and friends but always over a meal.  The food, much of it home cooked, was always delicious, but for me the highlight were the breakfasts.  From Glenda’s cheesecake on Shabbat morning (recipe coming soon) to Debbie’s pashtedot, to the numerous borekas that we sampled.  I loved the small plates served as sides to the main dish,  little bowls of leben, tuna, olives, pickled lemon, tehina, etc.  I tasted two new kinds of jam, one made with eggplant and the other with cherry tomatoes.  The small servings were just enough to tempt your palette but left you wanting more.

We didn’t get to do everything we had hoped to do, or see everyone we had wanted to see.  Like the sides served at breakfast, it was just a taste, a reminder to come back soon, and though we left happy, of course we also left wanting more.  Chag Sameach.

Note: My mom used to tell me about a tomato jam that they ate in Poland.  With Pesach around the corner, and the tastes of Israel still fresh in my mind, I tried this cherry tomato version which I’ll serve with matzoh and butter, but not for another week!!

Cherry Tomato Jam

20 oz.  cherry tomatoes, washed and cut in half

1/2 cup plus 4 Tb sugar

1 packet vanillin sugar (for Pesach use)

2 Tb freshly squeezed orange juice

1 Tb orange zest, thinly sliced

1 cinnamon stick

Bring all ingredients to a boil and then reduce to medium high heat.  Cook, stirring frequently, for about one hour or until thickened.  Strain to remove tomato skins and cinnamon stick.  Allow to cool, place in clean jar and refrigerate till ready to use.  This is perishable so it will only be good for about a week or so.



10 thoughts on “Cherry Tomato Jam

  1. This looks so delicious and easy. I cant wait to make it. It would be good on challah too after Pesach!

  2. Irene I love your post! It makes me hungry for Israel, and I can wait to get there!

  3. Yum!!! Xoxo !!!! Hope you have a great day at work ! Sorry I won’t be there today to see you but I’ll be there tomorrow!


  4. Hi, Irene.

    It was so nice to read your post after what seems like a long time. Welcome back. When I saw the post in my email with the subject line tomato jam, I immediately thought of our father since he always spoke about the tomato jam his mother made and how much he loved it. I hope you remember that mommy never had a tomato in her life. At least not a fresh one. So there we are. Different memories.

    I have never had tomato jam. I hope everyone enjoys it. Let me know how it is.

    Have a wonderful Pesach.

    Love, your shvester

    • Hi Anita,

      Well what can I say? MY MOTHER talked about the fact that they used to feed raw tomatoes to the cows but that some people used them to make jam. MY FATHER loved tomatoes, just like yours, but never told me that his mother made jam.

      It’s really good! You should try it.

      Chag Kasher v’sameach!!

      your shvester!!

  5. I’ve missed your weekly posts — this is a great one. It made me feel like I was back in Jerusalem … also I have a sweet hot chile pepper jam recipe for you…. really easy and really good.

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