I love to listen to music when I am in the kitchen. I tease the kids and tell them I am jammin’ out, which makes them laugh hysterically and they remind me that 80% of the music I listen to is not jammin’ material!
Have you heard of Jackie Evancho?
She’s a 12 year old classical music artist who I think has become my favorite companion in the kitchen this last week. Her beautiful voice has made actual “jamming'” in the kitchen this week so relaxing and enjoyable.
Strawberries have been just beautiful this spring, so when I had an opportunity to purchase fresh berries at a local farm over the weekend, I willingly helped myself!
I put up a few berries for pies & homemade ice cream later in the season, but then I saved some for making strawberry jam. There is something so wholesome about making your own jams and jellies. I love to set an open jar on the table at breakfast or supper time for my family to spread on toast or biscuits. I also like knowing what exactly is going into the mouths of my family. No artificial flavors, sweeteners or color here!
And aren’t canned goods just so pretty? It looks like jewels sparkling in the afternoon sun!
Making jam isn’t as difficult as some would have you believe. Getting everything together and prepping your fruit can be time consuming, but honestly what task isn’t time consuming that is worth doing?
I made two recipes of strawberry jam; a vanilla-laced strawberry jam and balsamic-strawberry jam. I’m sharing the vanilla-laced jam here since it is the less tedious of the two.
Strawberry Jam w/ Vanilla
8 cups sliced strawberries
juice of half a lemon (abt. 1 1/2 Tbsp)
1 pkg. powdered pectin (I prefer Ball)
1 whole vanilla bean, scored down one side
7 cups sugar
Take your strawberries and smash them a little at a time in a large pot on the stove, until all 8 cups are smashed and juicy. I use a potato masher for this. Add your vanilla bean, lemon juice and pectin (making sure to stir it until it is well dissolved); then bring to a boil. Stir constantly to keep from burning on the bottom. Pour all of your sugar in at once. Stir until it dissolves, then bring to a roaring boil that you can’t stir down, continuing to stir.
Remove from heat and spoon out the vanilla bean. Ladle into prepped (sterilized) jars, seal and process in a canner about 15 minutes. Remove and cool. Store in a cool, dark space; you don’t want to discolor your jam!
I like my jam spread on a slice a fresh white bread. How do you like yours?
I’m linking up to Foodie Friday
this week. Hope you’ll link over and check out what else is cooking this week!
And, I’ll leave you with a taste of Jackie Evancho. You can let me know what you think!