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Oma's Jam Jams

This is one of my mother's many specialties. You see I didn't grow up with chocolate chip cookies. I thought only Mr. Christie baked those ... grin .... and that they came from a bag. I grew up with German/Mennonite type of baking. I am first generation Canadian so I grew up with lots of European traditions. In grade 2, we had a spring tea at school. We were supposed to ask our mothers to bring "DAINTIES" to serve. So I brought home the sheet and my mom said, "What are DAINTIES, I don't know how to bake DAINTIES". I was a terribly shy kid and didn't know how to tell my teacher that my mom couldn't bake DAINTIES. I just bawled when the teacher asked me...........sniffling, shaking, blowing, I responded "My mama doesn't know how to make dainties"....... sniffle, sniffle. The teacher very gently rubbed my shoulders, said that it was OK if my mom didn't bake. I told her she baked lots, like cookies, Platz, tortes etc. etc. She replied, "Honey those are DAINTIES". Oh I was soooo relieved I ran home with new vigor and told my mom what DAINTIES were. Now you know the rest of the story. I hope that you will sample lots of her baking through these recipes.
This is a large recipe that can be easily halved.

  • 2 cups butter or hard margarine
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 1 cup syrup
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 8 - 9 cups flour
  1. Cream sugar and butter. Add eggs, beat well. Add vanilla and syrup. 
  2. Measure flour with soda and salt. Add flour in several portions, mixing well after each addition. 
  3. Chill dough several hours or overnight. 
  4. Roll dough one small piece at a time on floured surface. Cut cookies with round cookie cutter and  place on lightly greased cookie sheet. 
  5. Bake at 350° F for 8-10 minutes. Let cool and put together with "DAMSON PLUM JAM", while still warm.
This is according to my mother, no real recipe.
  1. Take your case of plums, wash them and put them in a big roaster. Bake at 350° F with the pits because the pits bring out better flavor. 
  2. Then when they are soft, and split open and cooked good enough, (what ever that means mom) take out the pits.
  3. So, now you measure two parts fruit and one part sugar and put it in a large pot. Cook until thick enough (again who knows how long), you'll know. 
  4. Skim off the foam or scum as it cooks, save that for fresh buns. Waste not, want not. When the jam is done, put in hot sterilized jars and cover with melted paraffin wax.
Thanks Mama ...ich liebe dich


A house should have a cookie jar
for when it's half past three
and the children hurry home from school'
as hungry as can be.
There is nothing quite as splendid
in filling children up
as spicy little ginger cakes
and sweet milk in a cup.
A house should have a mother,
or Oma waiting with a hug
no matter what a child brings home
a puppy or a bug.
For children loiter when the bells ring to dismiss,
if no-one's home to greet them with a cookie and a kiss.

(taken from a farming community cookbook).


  1. Too funny.......the same recipes are being baked in Manitoba as in mom makes these regularly, and she insists they need to be filled with DAMSON plum jam too! Damson plums are nice and tart, so the cookie doesn't taste too sweet. The grandchildren love them!

  2. Those sound wonderful. I had similar experiences in school with stuff getting "lost in translation" I was first generation American. I've read many stories with damson goodies in them but have never had any...

  3. i should clarify the mispelling of dampsum is a german spelling english and i couldn't resist how my mom spells things only i should have clarified that.
    i should post a recipe for her "coolslow" with captish and carroots and a yummy dressing that you poor over the mixer. oh stop charlie you are schpotting (spoofing) your mama. behave now.

  4. Oh Charlotte...I just loved your story to go with the recipe. I remember being a wee bit ashamed of the not so fancy and 'dainty' items my mom would put in my schoollunches...thick slices of homemade brown bread, rhubarb dumplings in wax paper and all in a tin lunch kit while my friends and thin processed meats in white sliced bread and storebought cookies. Now I would just 'die' to have those yummy lunches again! Funny.... anyway...thanks. I am going to definitely try these.

  5. Charlotte, I love your stories that go with your recipes and
    the way that your mom explains how to make the jam ... it has a familiar sound to it. That's when I have to watch my mom and write down the exact amounts and minutes etc.
    For some reason I was thinking about the lunches my mom used to pack for me and how she would add a thermos of hot tea. What child takes hot tea to school now? But it sure was good on a cold winter day!

  6. Oh I love the story to go with the jam jam dainty recipe Charlotte. I love reading the post and wondering which contributor it will be. .

  7. Just the other day at work us girls were talking about fancy sandwiches and dainties. We knew we were of the same generation as we exchanged foods we recalled from days gone by. We are going start bringing afew dainties on occation to share. I just may bake these cookies and show off this blog.

  8. So I have to ask - what about the skins? Do they float to the top or do they get mixed in?

  9. I assume you are talking about the skins of the plums, yes they just get baked in, and the pits are removed after baking.

  10. These taste just like my mom's did. She would make some with damson plum jam and some with raspberry jam. So many of your ladies recipes bring back such good memories about my mom. Thank you!

  11. It is so nice to see an old family favorite! The story is charming too. My mom used Roger's Golden Syrup; always smelled sooo good as she mixed the batter, then we got to put the strawberry jam on and assemble. Haven't tried them with the plum jam - sounds yummy too. They are my, now grown, children's Christmas fav. I love this site, it is like a taste of my prairie home towm before I even get to the kitchen. Thank you!

  12. I might as well ask the same question here. Does it matter what kind of syrup you use?

    1. Damson Plums are navy blue in colour, not overly large, the skin is quite tart and it has a large stone which is difficult to remove (requires ripping). The innards are almost orangey yellow. The OK trucks usually sell a plum similar but are not at all ripe. If the Damson plum is ripe, very easily damaged. It is very rare plum in the OK... found mostly on Mennonite farms....old homesteads.

  13. Pardon my ignorance but what are Damson Plums?
    Are they the ones I'm trying to grow on our farm or do you buy them in the store?

  14. It has to be Roger's Syrup in my other syrup would do!

  15. So happy to find this recipe :) Looked through all my cookbooks and couldn't find one, but really wanted to make them for Christmas. Thanks!!

  16. Just made these yesterday and they turned out great!! Thanks so much Charlotte :) Rhoda

    1. Rhoda, I am so glad they turned out for you. I hope you and your family will all enjoy them. You know where to come if you need more jam :) <3

  17. Hello. I am wondering what kind of jam would best be substituted for the Damson? I do not have access to this kind of jam. I loved your story that went along with the recipe, by the way. Thank you!

    1. I have seen plum jam in specialty stores, if you can't find damson plums. How ever if you have trouble finding any kind of plum jam my go to would be a triple berry made with blueberry, blackberry and raspberry that is low in sugar. Raspberry is a good option too, I prefer that over strawberry or apricot. It really depends on your personal taste preference.


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