It was the best of jams, it was the worst of jams… but more on that later.
THANK YOU to everyone for your support, comments, emails, etc. regarding the show. We are very excited about it! Jim is upstairs editing episode two as we speak and we have many more tricks up our sleeves. Please excuse my first-show jitters, I promise to loosen up as we go along.
This past weekend I continued with my strawberry rhubarb love affair and I made jam. I haven’t made jam in a couple of years now and I was a bit too excited. Being the overly ambitious cook that I am, I set out to make a giant batch. Jam for all seasons! Jam for all reasons! Our pantry would overflow with jam! I would be handing out jars to people in the street, so encumbered with jam we would be.
4 lbs. of strawberries… check. 2 lbs. of rhubarb… check. Sugar… check. Lemons… check. Disaster… check.
My first mistake was forgetting how awful the marmalade I made several years ago was from the one preserves book that I have. Does anyone have any good recommendations for books on preserves and canning? Having destroyed those taste buds and blocked that experience from memory, I reopened that book in hopes of making a delightful strawberry rhubarb jam. This recipe relied on the pectin in some lemon rind to help thicken it. After cooking it well over the time instructed, I panicked and sent Jim to the store to buy some commercial pectin. By the time he returned, the flavor of lemon had destroyed any trace of strawberry or rhubarb and the soupy mixture was overcooked beyond repair. I mourned the loss of my beloved down the garbage disposal.
However, I refused to be beaten! The next day we went out and restocked our arsenal. I spent a good 4 hours scouring the internet, reading every recipe and forum discussion on strawberry rhubarb jam I could find. I read some pretty appalling things (making jam in the microwave?!) as well as some nauseating recipes (10 cups of sugar with 4 lbs. of strawberries? 10 cups?!) but slowly collected useful information. That evening, I entered the kitchen with a fresh state of mind and my iPod, determined yet serene.
Come 1 a.m. I had eight jars full of thick, luscious jam. Sealed and cooling, I called it a night. The next morning I whipped up some lemon scones, using this recipe as a guideline. I pretty much stuck to it, but I soured my almond milk with 2 teaspoons of lemon juice and I increased the lemon zest to the zest from a whole lemon. They were tangy without being too sour and were perfectly accented by the jam.
We enjoyed them with a nice parfait of fresh strawberries, vanilla soy yogurt and a sprinkle of hemp seeds, my favorite breakfast treat.
Now I need to reign it in. We’re only on Wednesday and we’ve already polished off 1 2/3 jars! We won’t make it to fall at this rate! Looks like I’ll have to make more, darn…
Okay, I promise this is the last talk of strawberries and rhubarb for awhile.
Squirrel’s Vegan KitchenGo back in time to my original blog: Squirrel’s Vegan Kitchen!
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