326: Jan McCarthy on Making Hot Spicy Jams.

Adding some sweet and spice to life through delicious fruit jams.


Jan worked in her parents’ bakery from age 12 until she was 32 when she went back to school to be a para legal which she has done for 30 years. Ready to put some of the high stress of the legal world behind her, she was willing to try something new so as a favor to her son she started making jams for community projects of the Joy Bus Diner. Now her specialty is making hot spicy jams.

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In This Podcast:

A simple request to help fill a charity basket for cancer patients has turned into a small food-craft business for Jan McCarthy. Acting on the request of her son to help out a charity event, Jan made a few jars of jam.  Little did she realize how popular they would become, especially once she put her own special twist of adding hot peppers to some of her recipes. She tells about some of the steps she needed to go through to make her business legit, as well as some tips to making good jams.

Listen in and learn about:

  • Making jams for a few gift baskets for homebound cancer patients
  • Supplying a local charity Joy Bus Diner in Phoenix with jams
  • Going through the steps to get legal for making consumer food products
  • Having 31 flavors of jams
  • The hot spicy varieties
  • Canning all her life with her family
  • Working a deal for using a commercial kitchen
  • Adjusting recipes and getting them tested
  • Making jams from berries
  • Apricot jam and the struggle to find fruit
  • An Epic moment when a friend went through breast cancer
  • Turning down the opportunity to make jams for a local grocery store
  • Other recipes including jams

As well as:

  • Her failure – A time the jam did not jell and she gave it away as syrup
  • Her success – her four adult children, and her Black Reaper Jam
  • Her drive – Beating to her own drum – service to others
  • Her advice – Sterilize, sterilize, sterilize.  Make things your family will love!

Jan’s Book recommendations:      

Back to Basics: A Complete Guide to Traditional Skills (Back to Basics Guides)

How to reach Jan:   

Website: JamminJansJam.com

Farmers Market – Saturdays at the Uptown Farmers Market in Phoenix

 UrbanFarm.org/JamminJan


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