There is nothing like an Inception-inspired night in the kitchen: making jam, in my jammies, while jammin’ to some old Backstreet Boys songs. This really happened.
Somehow I had gotten it into my head to make jam. Partly it was because I had found some old mason jars under the sink at my dad’s house (complete with Bernardin lids). Partly because I had not “attempted” to make anything in the kitchen in a while (unless you count the sticky chicken breasts I made in the slow cooker that I am still too lazy to write about- the chicken tastes good, easily the best chicken recipe I have made thus far). The clincher was when I found another container of strawberries in the freezer (such a nice surprise). I was not mucking around. I wanted a guaranteed recipe so I turned to the source for it all, my hero: Martha Stewart.
I was skeptical at first about her strawberry jam recipe. Just strawberries and sugar??? Strawberries are low in pectin, and I thought jam was always made with pectin. Shows what I know, I put my faith and the future of my strawberries in Martha’s hands and dove right in. I was at a loss at first, a “non-reactive pot“? What on God’s green earth was that? Would my Wal-Mart one suffice? Turns out at work I have photographed tonnes of these pots not knowing what they were for. Somehow I lucked out and my jam doesn’t taste metallic, but the bottom of the pan was burnt.
The jam is a tad labour intensive in that you cannot just leave it, you have to keep watch over it mostly the whole time it cooks. While I was making it, I kept thinking to myself that this is a fun novelty but there is no way this will be a regular thing. I shuddered at the thought of having to clean the counters afterwards (they were covered in strawberry goop from skimming the foam off the top). The house smelled like the pot pourri section of an arts and crafts store, I loved it, but Brent hater of strawberries was less thrilled by it. I had seen a thing on Buzzfeed about everyday products you are using wrong. Turns out the pot handle can be used as a spoon holder! What they fail to account for is the strawberry syrup running down the spoon handle and all over the stove top. My jam appeared to fail the freezer test, wherein you put a blob on a plate in the freezer and in a few minutes it should be “wrinkly”, but mine was not. I may have put too much. I had to stop cooking the jam , it was starting to smell like burning and indeed once I put it in the jar, the bottom had a small layer of burnt.
The prep of the jam takes as much time as the (super sticky) clean-up. I spent as much time scrubbing as I did stirring.
When it finally came time to eat it, l with peanut butter on a cracker, the best way to eat jam… it was a revelation!! I did not know that jam could taste that good. I thought for sure, between the failed freezer test and the burnt bottom, that I had fudged it. It is kind of sad to see 2 pounds of strawberries reduced to 3/4 of a medium sized mason jar- but so worth all the effort. Now taht I know the recipe works (I had done a half batch to test) I will for sure be making double batches on a regular basis.