Wednesday, June 9, 2010

First Jam of the Year

Oh that photo is not the best. I should have taken one when the berries were all pretty and sliced and waiting to go into the pot.

And actually, I should clarify, it's not 'jam' but 'preserves.' The difference? Preserves aren't meant to fully set up like jam. They're meant to be a little runny and good for pouring over pancakes, poundcake, ice cream, or yoghurt.

I got the recipe from Saving the Season--my new uber-favorite canning blog discovered late last season. My jam books might just now be tragically obsolete. (Nah....just supplemented.)

The recipe is for Strawberry Perserves with Balsamic Vinegar and Black Pepper. Sadly, I think my palate is weak. I doubled the black pepper and used 25-year-old-imported-direct-from-Italy balsamic vinegar and I still don't taste it. It was my very last tablespoon of good balsamic or I might have been tempted to double that too.

(That gets me in trouble in the kitchen. If something is good, more is better, right? Um, yeah....not always.)

Still I have to say that the preserves ARE heavenly. Really. Way better than jam.

I spent $18 to get three quarts of organic berries at the farmer's market. (All you folks back home with large wonderful gardens will be shaking your heads in amazement, but that's only $1.50 more per quart than regular berries at our city-folk prices.) What can I say? Berries are on the dirty dozen list. Pesticides cling to these beauties like stink on a goat. It's worth the added expense.

I had enough for the jam and loads to eat fresh on the side. And I just might do it all over again this Saturday.

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