Thursday, June 17, 2010

Strawberry Jam, 2010

I am really a miserable blogger. I post here and there, months apart, and I never have any real theme or purpose. I would get bored reading this blog, so why do I even bother with it at all?

I am going to give it one last try, an honest attempt to write about not just my life, but about the things that mean the most to me. That would be my daughter, books and food. I'll throw in a little travel here and there too, just to keep you guessing.

We'll start with food. Strawberries specifically. 20 lbs of 'em.
On Tuesday C and I took the short drive out of town to a family farm that sells strawberries. I bought 2 flats. The berries were big and so ripe. The smell was intoxicating. So we loaded up our take, paid the farmer and headed back to Madison.
The first step was prepping the berries. I washed and hulled them all, then realized that we were out of sugar. Who runs out of sugar? So, I bagged the clean berries and decided to wait a day to start the jam. Wednesday, we ran to Hy-Vee and bought 10 lbs of sugar. Pure cane sugar, not that refined crap. We got home and I went to work on the jam. I was about half way through when I decided to dip my finger in a jar and have a taste. It was awful! It was grainy and way too sweet. What did I do wrong? Jam is so easy to make, even a monkey could do it! Drat! I doubled the sugar and pectin to make bigger batches, but didn't double the berries. All of the jam had to come out of the jars and I had to double the berries and remix everything.
The jam hadn't started to set yet, so I hope like mad that it will be okay. If I have to throw 20 lbs of berries to the birds I will kill myself. I will drop my face in the bowl of mashed berries and breathe in until I die.
Thankfully, everything seemed to turn out okay. I had some jam on bread this morning and it was delightful. Store bought bread mind you, but I won't get into that now.

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