Thursday, April 18, 2013

We be jammin'.

I've got a lot of philosophies about food, one of which is that literally ANYONE can make it. The most important ingredient in any recipe is a heaping helping of confidence and a daring amount of don't give a fuck. For real. Most of my recipes are "Put some stuff into a pot. Heat it up until it's food." I'm never too careful about measuring things out, even if I start off working with a recipe. I always think of recipes as suggestions of things you can do with random ingredients and finished food as a glimpse into the world of what its creator thinks is delicious. The only thing you need to be able to cook well is to be brave enough to find your own path and follow it.

Jam is a good place to start.

There are a billionty zillionty combinations you could create for jam based on flavor combinations you personally dig, and as far as I can tell... It's pretty darn hard to mess up so... Go to town with it!

You could do something like.... Blueberry lime, or peach basil, or apple cranberry jam (although since apples have such a high pectin content, you might not need any of the powdered stuff.)

Since I made some strawberry deliciousness, though, I'll give you the recipe based on what I did.

Strawberry Jam

2 pints fresh strawberries (If they're close to rotting, even better-they'll be extra sweet!)
1 c. Sugar

Put your strawberries in a pot and mash them with a potato masher until they're to the chunkiness you prefer. I like a little extra texture in mine so I left 'em nice and hunky.

If you get packaged pectin like I did, literally every single one tells you how much to use for each particular fruit. I am just waaaaay too lazy to wash measuring spoons if I don't have to, so I abandoned the instructions and just sprinkled some on there. I'll estimate that it was about a teaspoon and a half.

Add the pectin to your pot of smashed berries and stir while cooking over medium/medium high heat.

Once the berries start to boil, let them go to town for a minute or two while, still, stirring like someone will jump out of the closet and steal your pants if you stop.

Add the cup of sugar and.... you guessed it.... stir. Keep stirring. Stir until it's all foamy on the top and it boils despite the stirring.


Take it off the heat and wait until it cools before funneling it into jars. I highly recommend dropping a bunch of it on top of some homemade yogurt and delighting in just how unbelievably soft and sweet and flavorful your jam is compared to the questionable stuff you've been buying for years from the store.

By the way, feel free to spice things up a little and throw in some cinnamon and ginger when you're cooking with strawberries. I've got a feeling they'd taste fantastic with this. 

Try not to spend it all in one place. 
<3 Kat.

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