simple and perfect strawberry jam

June 19, 2011 § Leave a comment

something sweet on your toast

So, since moving out to California, we have been taking full advantage of the local farmers markets and I’ve been busy devouring organic strawberries at every possible opportunity. I have also been thinking about how, in less than 3 months, our lives are going to get turned upside-down once again and the luxury of spending a day pottering around the kitchen will become a thing of fantasy (for a while at least). So, I decided to set to work squishing some strawberries into delicious jam that I can smother on whatever I feel like, whilst balancing new baby and toddling Avery. Phew.

I haven’t made jam since I was about 12, in a kitchen with my mother and grandmother, and then I was mostly just eating fruit. I certainly can’t remember that recipe so I dug thorough a few on the internet and decided that I would combine a few to come up with my own.

Here is the result:

Strawberry Jam

4lbs of strawberries cut into halves or quarters

1/2lb of small whole strawberries (I just picked out the smallest in my box and set them aside)

4 cups of sugar

(simple, no?)

Start out by popping a small plate into the freezer. You’ll use this later to test the readiness of your jam.

You might want to enlist some help prepping all your strawberries, but be selective with your helpers, mine mostly wanted to eat my stash!

Place the 4lbs of cut strawberries into a large pan or stockpot over a low to medium heat. Add in about 1/4 cup of the sugar and cook until the sugar has disolved and the strawberries start to get sticky and juicy. Stirring with a wooden spoon.

Turn up the heat to medium high and add the remaining sugar 1 cup at a time. Keep stirring between each addition of the sugar, making sure that it is all well disolved before adding the next cup. This should take around 10 minutes total, but make sure to keep up with the stirring, you don’t want anything to stick and burn!

Bring to the boil, stirring occasionally to avoid sticking. Boil for 15 mins. At this point, all the recipes I read tell you to skim off the foam that forms on the surface with a metal spoon. I did this a tiny bit, and then decided I wanted to keep the foam in there (!) so I just went with it.

Add the remaining 1/2 lb of whole smaller strawberries. I like to add these in so you get a few soft but still whole-ish berries in the final jam. This is probably one of my favorite things about strawberry jam, but if it’s not yours then, I guess this part is optional?

Boil for another 15mins.The jam should be thickening up nicely.

Take the plate from the freezer and place a small spoonful of the jam on the plate. Pop it back in the freezer until the jam has cooled. The jam is ready when the cooled sample wrinkles slightly when pushed with your finger.

When the jam is done, remove from the heat and place in prepared jars. Seal, label and you’re all done!

This made 6 nice full jars, of which, a week later, we have already eaten one. Avery loves it on his toast in the mornings…and then he licks it all off, and spits the wholewheat toast out….my baby.

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Built by me.

April 28, 2008 § Leave a comment

I made some changes to the Built By Wendy pattern 3835, adding pockets in the side seams, changing the sleeves and playing around a little with the neckline.

little dress

I think I might actually shorten this into a shirt. I just think I’d wear it more that way, the length and cut of the skirt on this dress isn’t wildly flattering on me, even over pants.

The adorable blue pinstripe cotton fabric was a gift from Cristalle. Hearts.

Bag Lady.

April 28, 2008 § 3 Comments

I happened to notice that my old pink star Cath Kidston book bag is starting to look a little worst for wear around the edges. This prompted me to make some replacements…

Sailboats, for rainy days...

Cowboys for summer days...

I’m working on some others. Using up pretty much all of my oilcloth! Sad face! I wish we could find somewhere that could print decent quality oilcloth for us. Siiigh. I did make a little zip purse to match the boat bag…of course.

cute!

I made this.

March 24, 2008 § Leave a comment

With a degree in Fashion Design, I know that I should make more stuff. For the longest time, it has been mostly due to the lack of a sewing machine and now that obstacle is removed, I can strive forwards into a new, homemade, summer wardrobe! Fantastic.

My first project was a Built By Wendy pattern. I decided to stick to the pattern 100% and just blast through it to refresh my memory on how this whole thing works. I can’t say I was wildly impressed with the pattern cutting or the instructions, but ho hum. I suppose that just goes hand in hand with working from patterns. I had hoped for something a little different from the Built By Wendy stuff.

I would have changed the sleeves and the fastening on this top. But it’s still pretty cute. I bought the fabric at an adorable little vintage store around the corner, here in South Williamsburg.

Built By Kate

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