Sunday, September 13, 2009

Extraordinary Mondays - Strawberry jam!

The whole house smells so good at the moment as I've just made some strawberry jam. My very first attempt and am surprised that it was not difficult at all! I've always had the image of slaving over a pot stirring a hot mixture of fruit for hours. I finally convinced myself that I was going to try it when I listened to a mid morning radio program last week while I was driving to a meeting. I gathered enough basic understanding from the program (stuff like pectin and 1 part fruit 1 part sugar) and took the big step and bought some strawberries just for the purpose today. I was almost brave enough to just go for it but I googled for a simple recipe just to be sure. The most simple I could find was this one from Homemade Jam and Jelly Recipes:

1kg strawberries
600g sugar

When the kids were soundly sleeping, I set to work. I used only one punnet of strawberries (250g) for fear of wasting good fruit in case it all didn't work out. I washed, hulled and halved the fruit. I mixed the strawberries and sugar in the pot and waited for one hour until the strawberries let out their juice to saturate the sugar as stated in the recipe. Then...

Oh, the smell that permeated from that pot was heavenly! After about 20 minutes on the boil, I did the freezer test. Put a teaspoonful of the lovely red liquid and spread it on a little plate. Stuck that into the freezer for a minute or two until the mixture was room temperature. I ran my finger down the middle of it and it did all the things it needed to do which was to wrinkle on the surface and stay as two separate portions. I took the jar, which I sterilized in the microwave, and scooped the jam into it. Voila! My very first jar of strawberry jam! Can't wait for breakfast tomorrow! YUM!

Okay, so maybe I didn't wait for breakfast! It was just too hard to resist!

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