Sunday, July 1, 2012

strawberry pickin

So, as I mentioned in my last post, I found some rhubarb at the farmer's market.  The second I saw it, I knew that I had to make strawberry rhubarb pie.  Which means....  that's right.... strawberry picking!  I called my friend with two little girls, and we all went out into the fields.....

They ate, and chased, and ate some more, and otherwise had a ball.  I really can't believe I was able to pick as many as I did.....

So I knew that I would be making the aforementioned pie, but I also had some strawberry basil jam in mind.  I stumbled across the recipe, and since we have an abundance of basil in the garden, it really struck a cord. 

Not to mention that both of my kids eat basil off of the plants as if it was candy.  Basil, spinach, thyme, even rosemary!  The other ones I get, but the rosemary baffles me...  Raw rosemary just reminds me of floor cleaner.... 

I really love making jam.  It is so easy and so satisfying.  I don't know much about canning, or sterilizing, or jarring, so I like to make just enough.  This recipe gave me two jars.  I had fully planned on giving the other jar to my mother in law, but... well....  as you can see, our jar is quickly disappearing.  

This lemon was my jam enemy.  

My jamenemy.  

My jameny.  

I like to condense words.  It saves time.

strawberry basil jam
Adapted from Alaska from Scratch

4 c strawberries
1 1/4 c sugar
zest and juice of one lemon, and if you're like me, the top skin of your knuckle as well
1/2 tsp vanilla
handful of basil leaves

Wash, hull, and chop strawberries.  Place them in a Dutch oven, followed by the sugar, zest, juice, knuckle, vanilla, and basil.  Over medium heat, stir the fruit until the sugar dissolves.  With an immersion blender or a potato masher, blend/mash strawberries to desired consistency.  Raise the heat to high, and stirring often, let the mixture come to a rolling boil.  Keep stirring and cooking until a candy thermometer reaches 220ºF.  I kept the boil going for several minutes after it came to temp, stirring constantly, until the spoon was coated.  Pour into jars, put the lids on, and put them in the fridge to cool.