Somehow when food is homemade and created by your own hands, in your own kitchen, it always tastes especially rich and authentic.
Other than homemade bread, homemade jams and marmalades have always been my weakness. I delight in fresh homemade jam spread generously over a slice of toast, together with a side of fresh whipped cream. It transports me back to the time when my family and I did a homestay in a New Zealand farm, where the jams and creams were direct produce of the farmland, and not a single day old.
Homemade jams take a while to cook, but that’s the beauty of it.
Stirring the cut fruits in the pot as they cook, and having the aroma of fruits wafting up your nose, twirling around you and enveloping the kitchen in a blanket of delicious smells, is one of most amazing experiences you can have.
As you watch the fruits transform into a thick, rich jam, a kind of tranquil peace falls over you, and it’s hard not to stare, amazed, mesmerized and drawn into the wonderful process unraveling before your eyes.
The last time I made Orange Marmalade a couple of months ago, I told myself I would have to make all other sorts of jams when the fruits were in season. Then winter came and everything became so ridiculously expensive, I decided to wait till Spring arrived to buy fruits like strawberries, raspberries and blueberries.
Now that Spring is here in full force (complete with its drawbacks such as irritating mosquitoes), and fresh fruits are cheap and so easily available, I no longer have any excuse not to make these jams and do some DIY canning of my own.
I woke up bright and awake this morning, determined to make strawberry jam on a Sunday afternoon while Juan watched his weekly football match. Maria from my Curves Palermo gym had passed me a recipe for strawberry jam a couple of months back, and I’ve since been so tempted to make it (Gracias Maria!!). And jamming I did.
Sweet as the heavens, and rich as the Spring, my strawberry jam turned out very fine indeed…
HOMEMADE STRAWBERRY JAM (Makes 2 jars)
1) 1 kg of fresh strawberries
2) 700g of sugar
3) 1/2 fresh lemon
4) 2 sterilized glass jars
1) Wash and remove leaves from strawberries
2) Slice strawberries into small pieces and put in a large mixing bowl
3) Pour sugar on top of cut strawberries and mix together, then leave in fridge for at least 2-3 hours
4) Pour strawberry-sugar mixture in a pot and cook under low heat
5) Add in freshly-squeezed lemon juice
6) Stir strawberries continuously (or at least every few minutes) for one hour or until jam reaches the right consistency
7) Once jam is cooked, pour directly into glass jars and cap them