Posted by: dinainsuburbia | October 3, 2008

Raspberry Jam, Drunken Fig Jam Redux, and my fiesta ware collection



I just whipped up a small batch of raspberry jam using the raspberries picked Tuesday at the farm.  I only had a pint, so I knew my final outcome would be small.  Some googling revealed that the recipe for raspberry jam is a 1:1 ratio of berries to sugar.  I had a little over a cup of raspberries.

I put the raspberries whole in a stainless steel pan and added a squeeze of fresh lemon juice (approx 1 1/2 teaspoons) and heated at medium heat until they started to simmer.  Once simmering, I employed a potato masher to break up the berries into chunks.  I let the berries simmer for about 3 minutes.  Quick online research turned up that raspberry seeds are high in pectin, so overcooking makes the jam rubbery.  One cup of raspberries with one cup of sugar yielded one half-pint with a little extra.  I didn’t process the jam, but it has a standard 10-minute process time in a boiling water bath.  I’m giving the jam to my step grandfather who loved the strawberry jam I made the beginning of the summer.  He asked for more, but sadly, strawberry season has passed.  I know he would eat the jam right away so canning wasn’t necessary.  I popped it right in the fridge.

Last week my Step Grandpa brought over more figs from the tree in his backyard.  I figured I’d take the opportunity to revisit Bon Appetit’s Drunken Fig Jam which I wrote about here.  The last time I made the jam, I thought that the lemon peel “matchsticks” had a weird consistency and that I used too much brandy (too much booze, say it ain’t so).


This time around, I used the zest of about half a lemon.  I didn’t have a ton of figs, and the whole process yielded only one half pint.  The figs used this time around were very ripe, almost mushy… the consistency they yielded was much smoother, better than the previous batch that had some under ripe figs.  I did go ahead and process this jam- standard 10 minutes in a boiling water bath.

Now, onto the fiestaware.  I’m a huge fan and collector of fiestaware.  I don’t have much pre86 fiestaware though. Most of the fiestaware I have I began collecting when I got married in 2003.  For those of you that know about fiestaware, one of the most sought after pieces is the relish tray with inserts.  I was QUITE surprised today when I received in the mail from my mother-in-law a pre86 cobalt relish tray with a note that the second half of the present would be for Christmas.  I can only surmise that the second half of the present are the 5 inserts.  

Here’s a photo of the base tray that I received today.  The pre86 Cobalt is MUCH lighter than the Cobalt on the market today.  At first, I thought it was the Sapphire color that is a limited run post86 color exclusively sold in Bloomingdales.  But after doing some google research (how would I find out ANYTHING without google) I figured out it was, in fact, pre86 Cobalt.  I also learned that the relish tray set was introduced with the line in 1936 and discontinued by 1946, so the set components are only available in the original six colors (radioactive red, so named because it had real Uranium in it, cobalt, ivory, turquoise, and yellow).  


Not my set, but photo of a complete set

Not my set, but photo of a complete set



I’m very excited to have a classic, coveted, retro piece for my fiesta collection.  It’s wild to think about who originally owned the piece, what it was used for, etc.  A little piece of American history.


fiestaware relish set base tray in cobalt

fiestaware relish set base tray in cobalt


back-side of relish tray- notice older stamp

back-side of relish tray- notice older stamp


some of my fiestaware

some of my fiestaware

Here’s a photo of some of my fiesta ware.  It doesn’t include any of my mugs, teacups, or saucers.  It also doesn’t include the retired colors which I set aside (seafoam green, periwinkle, yellow, and rose) or what is currently dirty and living in the dish washer.



  1. hi!
    WOW- the fiesta relish tray! my mom and i looked high and low this summer at the brimfield market for a complete and affordable for one. we found a few complete ones but none that were affordable. you are lucky!

    always looking to find another fiesta collector, i found your blog through a blog search i ran on fiestaware. my collections, which is mostly new items, is posted on the site i have linked to.

    thanks for sharing!

  2. love your humor, also jealous of the “starter gift” I also am an avid collector, both pre 86 and after. Don’t think anyone would believe my collection nothing too wild but I do have an original ‘red’ coffee, very proud of and ‘green’ carafe. My husband keeps saying its him of the fiesta, I keep saying don’t make me choose!!! It is a fun hobby when you have time……… Have a merry holiday.

  3. I too received the relish base this past christmas. Mine is the “readioactive red”. I was so excited I started crying! The gift box read “first installment”, so I know future pieces will be coming. I started collecting the end of 2006. I have the new as well as some of the older pieces. I am very fond of the chartreuse pieces. I am gathering ideas to turn my kitchen into “Fiestaware” everywhere! I have already painted partial wall green. What next???

  4. Did you see the new Lemongrass dinnerware? Check out or the new Square dinnerware? Check out the Fiesta Square dinnerware at

  5. I also learned that the relish tray set was introduced with the line…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: