The place to start.
Taste a strawberry.
While quiet. Open to the senses.
Because nature changes. Each year is different.
And on the palate.
The fruit's sweetness and acidity.
Tell you how much sugar. And how much citrus.
The flavour of the fruit is first. Always.
I'm a democrat about jam.
You do you.
Putting ripe fruit in bottles is too much pleasure.
The learning's progressive.
Jam making (without pectin) is an apprenticeship.
I make mistakes. Still.
Sometimes the lessons are painful. And costly.
It’s the only way.
There are moments of mastery.
Every season has a gem.
One batch that shoots a rainbow through my heart.
Those are the bottles I give away first.
There is great joy in making jam.
When I share it. The feeling doubles.
Why do I know about so many types of potatoes and peppers and nothing about strawberry varietals?
My preference is obvious in the photo above. I'd love to be introduced to Ontario's best strawberry grower. Please.
A perennial favourite:
Strawberries, by Ed Behr.
"To be perfectly delicious—sweet with a hint of sharpness, tender, full of the essential strawberry perfume, which often veers in the direction of pineapple—strawberries must be completely ripe."
The best recipe for strawberry jam (without pectin) is from this 2010 blog post from Cathy Barrow. Cathy is the chef who introduced me to La Grande-Dame of Jam, Christine Ferber. Her book, Mes Confitures, is a touchstone in my kitchen.
In my DMs this week:
Listening to this while I stir the maslin pan.
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