That headline’s a reference to Spaceballs, by the way, if you didn’t recognize it. And if you didn’t recognize it, shame on you. Your penance shall be sitting down immediately and watching this national treasure of a film—while you’re waiting for this jam to cook down, that is.
So I’ll be up front here. I am not a domestic goddess of any sort. I’m barely a domestic imp. I don’t sew–I can, but I don’t and I don’t have any desire to. I clean but not nearly as much as I should. I don’t really decorate. My gardening skills and interests are minimal. I don’t can. (That sentence looks so wrong, by the way.) I don’t bake my own bread. And I know those things seem kind of odd, seeing as how I do cook a great deal and I’ll even make my own candy, chocolate, oreos and now I’m working on Snickers bars. But I dunno. Canning doesn’t really appeal to me and seems like quite a bit of work for an end result that’s not chocolate. But I do like jam, and I like it minimally processed (as I prefer all foods to be, except Taco Bell, which gets an exception because it’s not really food anyway). I don’t like jelly though. I guess you could say that I’m not ready for this jelly. (No? No good? Well they can’t all be winners). But I do love jam, especially stirred into some plain Greek yogurt with some chocolate chips and walnuts—that’s a winning breakfast right there, my friends. Raspberry jam is awesome. But strawberry jam is awesomer still. Because I love strawberries so, so much. It’s my second favorite flavor next to chocolate, and right before “barbecue.” And it’s June! Fresh strawberries abound cheaply. Take advantage of it.
But if you’re like me and you resist the urges by your domestic goddess friends (where do they get that energy, anyway?) to join them for canning parties and such (“Yes, We Can?” Yes you can. I’ll be sittin’ over there, watching Glee reruns) but still want to enjoy the fruits (ha!) of your own minimal labor, you should try this simple strawberry jam recipe I picked up on Cooking Light.
It was super easy, as promised, has only 3 basic ingredients (although I added one myself), takes just over an hour-ish and the end result is sweet, tasty, healthy (if you overlook all the sugar–but no, really, low-cal, no fat) homemade jam. Good on toast, bagels, Greek yogurt, ice cream, waffles or just off a spoon, out of the can, in front of the open fridge door, at 3am…I won’t tell anyone.
Basic Strawberry Jam
Adapted from Cooking Light
4 c. halved fresh strawberries
1 c. sugar (I use a less processed evaporated cane sugar I pick up at the co-op; actually has a much nicer flavor than the regular plain white granulated sugar you get from the supermarket)
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp vanilla (although I may try and add in vanilla seeds next time)
Put the strawberries and sugar together in a medium pot, stirring til the strawberries are nice and coated in the sugar, over medium-high heat and bring to a simmer. Stir frequently. Reduce the heat a little bit to medium and let simmer for about an hour or until the sauce thickens, stirring occasionally. Turn off the heat, let cool and add lemon juice and vanilla. Jam will be fairly chunky. For a smoother texture, put into a blender and blend for about 20 seconds. Pour into a jar or plastic container and keep in the fridge.