Saturday, July 3, 2010

We be Jam'n

We made a ton of Strawberry Jam last week. What else were we going to do with 50 pounds of hand-picked strawberries? Yep. You heard me. 50 pounds.

(I'd like to take this moment of blog space silence to remember the hands that not only picked, but also prepped and prepared our 50 pounds of strawberries by cleaning, sorting, removing stems, etc., so that jam could be made in the first place. Rowdy... the one and only person to perform this deserve my sincerest gratitude and the gratitude of all who giveth gratitude. As a gift, you will receive a pint of strawberry jam. and maybe another somethin somethin)

So we froze some because I lu-uv me some smoothies, but then we decided to get jam'n around here and make some jam'n jam. And how many more times do you think I can reference the word "jam?" One more time, apparently.

After the first batch I wasn't entirely satisfied, so I decided to take the opportunity of using such strawberry bounty to experiment with different recipes. Then we did an official taste test of all of them.

Here's our thoughts:

strawberry jam

1. Dear Strawberry-Honey Jam, you were missing the fresh lavender because I checked everywhere and nobody seemed to have any since June was June-uary around here with all the blasted cold rain. So we made due, only you wouldn't thicken at all. You were my first. And you left me totally annoyed and unsatisfied (this could really go somewhere but I will refrain from my childish thoughts.) Thankfully, you make some fab Strawberry Honey Syrup for pancakes!

2. Dear Ball recipe from the pectin box, I figured you would be a winner, but gee whiz you had me foaming! Or you foaming. Or something like that. It was hard to clear you up-- but you did gel very nicely in the end, so thank you for that. Your flavor was pretty good, but sorry, not my favorite. You asked for far too much sugar and I didn't give you what you asked for. I'm prideful like that.

3. Dear Ina, love your lemon flava. Who woulda thought that you could be so zesty? Rowdy says you are the brightest of the bunch. I say true dat, but I didn't like your gel in the freezer test because you never said it had to be in there 1-2 minutes like Martha said. You just said 'until it gels'. Can you understand how I might be confused by that statement? Loved your sterilizing tips though...

4. Dear Martha, yours took entirely too long to thicken (like 2 hours) and you called for too much sugar. You drove me crazy. Rowdy says you are too sweet. I beg to differ because you were a pain in my #$%. Since it took so long to cook you down into a gel-like state, you lost all your super cute chunks. How sad. Otherwise, you do taste a lot like a good store-bought brand only better because I made you. Just to be cool we added some lemon zest to brighten you up a bit. Oh good grief, don't take offense... you know you loved it.

Recap of FLAVOR: Loved #1 for the honey flavor and the awesome syrup adaptation that was totally on purpose. #2 was good but nothing amazing. #3 we liked the most because it was not too sweet and we even added some orange thyme to our last batch of it. #4 was your basic yummy strawberry jam, but we would reduce the sugar some next time.

Alrighty folks.

Get to Jam'n.

Like what you see here? Would you appreciate a review of YOUR jam'n skills? Applications will be accepted once my own stash of strawberry jam has been completely eaten. Which could be about 5 years or so...


Saimi said...

Wowsie Dowsie look what you made! I love how you referred to the different recipes and varied your batches!

If I get jamin, it's one recipe for me. I was pretty proud of my Huckleberry jam. Not to mention how stingy I am with the berries after spending hours picking those little buggers in the hills.

My husband is a jamaholic so I like to keep the cupboards full, looks like I need to get 'jamin'

likeschocolate said...

I am seriously impressed! Thanks for the critics of recipes.

Liz said...

You are the best. We made a TON of strawberry jam today also, but just did like the packet said, too much sugar! I wish I'd seen your blog BEFOREhand. geez. I'm impressed by your manipulation of recipes - my husband hates how I do that. I didn't dare today since he has been begging me to make the strawberry jam... next time....

Evelyn @ Hanging by a Silver Lining said...

I have zero intentions of making strawberry jam, but you sure made it fun reading about yours! Wish I could pop on over for a sample!

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