March 19, 2009

strawberry jam forever

When Ryan gave me the bread machine, I was pretty thrilled to see that aside from making breads, and doughs, and gluten-free goodies, it also had a jam and chutney setting. I'd never made homemade jam or jelly before, but with a couple of days stuck inside last week thanks to a springtime cold, I had to fill my latent hours with kitchen crafts.

So I washed and hulled two pounds of organic strawberries--picked up on sale at the local grocery for $2.99/pound--and tossed them in a dish. Based on recipes I'd read online, I came up with my own and added one cup of granulated sugar, the juice of one lemon, and one small package of pectin. Then I threw it all into the bread maker and set it to work. A couple of hours later, the mixture smelled sweet and delectable--but had bubbled over into the bread machine. This, I suppose, is the downside of leaving something to cook without any attention--things happen. Jams bubble over, for instance, and leave hot, sticky messes in your fancy bread machine that you have to clean up with a damp towel while wearing hot pads.

Like I said, things happen. But the end result was a tasty and sweet, albeit slightly watery, batch of organic strawberry jam. I made a batch of yummy two-ingredient biscuits and they were the perfect compliment to the jam. I spent $6 on strawberries, and about $2 on pectin and sugar and a lemon--and I got just about two pints of jam out of it. So if the average 8-ounce jar of organic strawberry jam costs about $5, I definitely saved a buncha dough by making it at home. Even with the trouble of cleaning up the mess it made, it was worth it. Next time I may make it the old-fashioned way, with my big red pot and a good ole wooden spoon.


Claudia said...

I know a lot of people is concerned about costs but when you make your own jam the main purpose is definitely not about cutting costs, it is all about flavors and the pleasure of making healthier jam, with more fruit and less sugar.

Beautiful jar too!

Cheers, C.