Ladies & gentlemen, it’s officially that time of year. Some would argue it’s just as magical as the first crisp wind of autumn or the first snow of winter: Strawberry Season.
Yesterday, our first CSA basket of the season really delivered. 3 containers of these bright red beauties! Every year at this time, I think back to the Spring I learned to make strawberry jam. There’s something almost sacred in the practice. So today, a little haiku…
Ripe, red strawberries
On the counter just waiting
for sugar and fate.
It pairs perfectly with this cornbread too.
A few weeks ago, I posted on Instagram and Facebook about a surplus of blueberries that we had in our fridge. This time of year, I am always in danger of pulling a Violet Beauregarde, but I just can’t get enough of the little guys.
In the afternoon, I often cover a spoonful of peanut butter in blueberries for a quick pick-me-up, and tomorrow I’m going to share our blueberry soda recipe. But tonight, I thought I’d share the list of blueberry ideas I got from all of you! Links are there when applicable. Bon appétit!
Favorite thing to do with a surplus of blueberries…
Make blueberry muffins.
“Muffins, breakfasts, jams and mojitos no necessarily in that order.”
Freeze yogurt-dipped blueberries
“Blueberry crisp/buckle. Blueberry syrup for pancakes. Blueberry cake with cream cheese frosting or lemon glaze. Pie, obviously. Blueberry mojito. Or, freeze & use as ice cubes for blueberry lemonade. (Growing up in Maine, you kinda become fluent in all things blueberry.)” -my friend Ellen Foord
Muddled blueberries, grapefruit vodka, soda water, sugared rim–sip
This. But replace rhubarb with blueberries.
Blueberry infused tequila
“Brew 5 gallons of my Blueberry Honey Amber ale.”
“Scones for Sunday morning AND cook the other half down with sugar and a little lemon to pour over vanilla bean ice cream tonight!”
In the meantime, what’s your favorite blueberry treat?
Huzzah! Strawberry season is here! Every year, I look forward to The Market in Maryville getting the first shipments of strawberries in from South Carolina, and last week it finally happened. Over the past 5 days, I have eaten more strawberry shortcake than most Americans will eat all year long. No regrets. So today, I thought I’d share with you one of my very favorite recipes: strawberry jam.
2 lbs strawberries (it’s usually 2 containers)
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 of a peeled green apple (a natural pectin… i.e. the stuff that helps it turn to jelly)
1 tsp orange rind
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- Top & hull the strawberries.
- Use a food processor to chop berries into smaller pieces or just squish them up with your hands.
- Throw the green apple into the food processor as well or finely chop.
- Stir in sugar, orange rind, & cinnamon.
- In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, bring the entire mixture to a boil.
- Turn down and simmer for 30 minutes to an hour, stirring every 5-10 minutes.*
- Once your jam reaches the consistency you desire, place in jars and let cool completely. Once it’s completely cool, store it in the fridge.
*For the first 20 minutes or so, you’ll need to remove the foam that accumulates on the top. The foam is really just a result of the boiling jam. It won’t really affect the taste, but it will prevent your jam from reaching the right consistency.
The best thing about strawberry jam is that it will make your house smell like the perfect Spring evening. It’s equally as yummy on toast as it is on shortbread, and while I’d suggest canning it, I can almost guarantee your batch won’t last that long. So turn on some Nat King Cole, curl up on the couch with your honey, and enjoy the natural aphrodisiac of Strawberry Jam. You can thank me later.
Is making jam just not enough for you? Consider heading to Dayton, Tennessee this weekend for the annual Strawberry Festival. Just looking for a new dessert? Might I recommend Alton Brown’s shortcake recipe? It is delish!