Thursday, June 5, 2014

Things are Jamming...

...around here these days literally and non... I got the call the other day from my dear friend who owns a local farmers market.I wrote about it last year here. Its always happens on a day that i am not planning on being in the kitchen but when you get the call you have to get  jamming...literally ! This year I made regular yet a lower sugar jam and a Vanilla scented balsamic strawberry jam. I've included the recipe as I am extremely pleased how it turned out...and when I say pleased I mean I am have been eating it everyday for breakfast...on toast...mixed with Greek yogurt ...with almond butter..

On other non literal jamming notes orchids are all starting to bloom as is the backyard, it's all finally starting to come together which is good as my body is a bit tired from all the yard work the past few weeks. I am adding new veggie garden beds and breaking the earth up with just a hoe and me. Its back breaking, but the physical exercise and daily sweat feel good when it is all done. Its amazing how getting your hands dirty really cleans the mind ...hey wait that's a good line "Get your hands dirty and clean your mind" or " Clean your mind...get your hands dirty"!

I  finished up my second pair of socks. Several years of knitting & crocheting, making sweaters, scarves baby clothes, booties and such I have never attempted socks. I am extremely excited to pick out my next pattern for my third pair. they are such great little projects that you can take anywhere.

Now for the Jam recipe...If you like to jam I highly recommend the book "Mes Confitures" by Christine Ferber. I adore the simplicity of this book. I haven't really used her recipes just more of her techniques. One thing I did this year was let the berries macerate overnight...this is how I got the gorgeous red juice in the measuring cup that I so wanted to make strawberry lemonade with. The color was amazing but I never got around to it. Maybe next time...

Vanilla Scented Balsamic Whole Strawberry Jam
  • 2 quarts strawberries I kept mine whole
  • 6 cups sugar 
  • juice of two lemons
  • Good quality aged balsamic vinegar I used about a quarter cup but would use more next time
  • Pure vanilla bean paste 2 tsps.
Macerate the berries overnight in a cup of sugar ...drain ...add strawberries and sugar in a heavy bottomed
stock pot ( this is what I use I haven't yet made the investment for a copper jam pot day)add lemon juice. Now to make matters easier because I believe jam making is subjective, as is any recipe, follow any jam making cooking instruction you are comfortable with. It is a practice makes perfect/ trial and error process. After making jam a while you learn to judge by looks and texture as to when its done. When you have reached desired consistency add the balsamic and vanilla and start the jarring process. Enjoy!
I am thinking this would make a great topping for a Mascarpone cheesecake recipe. Now that will be the next recipe!

Oh and how about that strawberry that looks like a tea pot!

Well I leave you with this ... a little Jammin with Bob Marley

Have a great weekend and if you have a favorite jam recipe to share please do!


  1. Your photos are beautiful. This is going to be my year to learn to can and I am so excited :) Strawberries are another month away here, but you have inspired me, thank you.
    Have a lovely day, Connie

    1. Im glad your inspired Connie....once you get a feel for it is pretty simple!
      Let me know how you make out !

  2. I love the photo of the sink filled with berries. I have to find a farm where I can go pick my own, or a local market (maybe this weekend?) where I can get some good local berries.

    1. Thank you Sarah....I hope you find your berries!!!

  3. Man. You jam well. It looks delicious. Covering your Hermione's!

  4. Oh your strawberries look so good!! Love the pictures of the berries floating in the water. And, I love the picture of your kitty in the berry box!! Such a pretty helper! This is a wonderful summery post!

    1. Thanks Susie I am so enjoying strawberry season!