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Feast of Saint Ignatius of Loyola, 2012

It would only be proper to send everyone with something special from Africa.

Tomato jam is amazing.  I first made this jam with a Benedictine sister from Tororo, Uganda, who came to stay with us a week.

Tomato jam is very popular in East Africa, and I understand now why.

This recipe is a souvenir, a gift, from everyone here to everyone out there.

It is simple to make, and the monks eat jam and bread, every day for their morning meal, along with omelets with fresh eggs, and avocadoes and bananas and papaya and tea.

To begin with you will need Roma tomatoes.  At Our Lady of Victoria, we often use the overly ripe ones, cutting around any black spots.

You wash them and you dice them finely.

Then you measure the volume.

Whatever the volume is of chopped fruit you have, you add to the fruit the same volume of water.

This you bring to a boil, and boil for about 15-20 minutes, uncovered.

To then remove this from the fire, cool it just a bit, and measure it out.

However much the volume is now of the fruit and water mixture, you measure out ¾ of this volume in sugar.

You add the sugar to the fruit and water mixture, along with approximately one cup of squeezed lemon juice.

You return this to the fire, stirring at first to dissolve the sugar, and then you increase the fire until you have a rolling boil.  Remember to use a wooden spoon.

You will then boil as such to reduce the volume significantly of liquid.  You may need to drop the fire as the mixture reduces to avoid it boiling over or to avoid the increasing sugar content from burning on the bottom of the pot.

As the volume reduces, make sure to stir frequently.

You want the level of the liquid to become less than the level of the fruit, and you are testing with the stirring to discover when there begin to have a bit of resistance to the wooden spoon.  When the fruit sticks to the spoon raised up above the mixture and tilted to one side, you know you are close to the ‘tipping point’.  This is when the mixture has cooked enough to cool into congealed jam.

Remove from heat, empty out of the pot that you used to cook it in, and put into a heat resistance vessel, cover, and let rest over night.

The next day put into a plastic or glass container with a tight lid and place in the fridge.

Enjoy.  Peace.  Mungu awabariki.