Sooooo, because I’m a Gemini and that means I dive headfirst into whatever I decide to accomplish, project #4 is Strawberry vanilla jam…(Yes, I am completely aware that I have embarked on a canning tirade and four VERY distinct projects in less than a week is completely crazy…well, that is just who I am! I’m crazy and fabulous and on a canning tirade!!!) 🙂
Strawberry Vanilla Jam promises to be the jam that dreams are made of…the jam that peanut butter bows down to saying “I am not worthy to be on a sandwich with you, you are too glorious!” and Strawberry Vanilla Jam says, “yes, PB, move on over, I can handle this scone by myself.”
First stop was the Thursday Farmer’s Market (I am blessed to live within walking distance to THREE local farmer’s markets…it is absolutely magical.) We ended up with strawberries from a local green-grocer, but we got everything we needed for dinner at the farmer’s market and savoured every single bite of BBQ chicken, BBQ corn on the cob, lettuce from Sam’s garden, fresh green peas, and fresh raspberries for dessert! YUM!
This was my first foray into real vanilla beans…although a titch more expensive than extract or other flavourings, they were worth it. The smell was so rich it was almost bitter, but lent a beautiful sweetness and dark colour to the jam.
When we started into the jam, it was easy going, other than a mishap when we realized our saucepan was perhaps a bit small…Although slightly more complicated than jams-of-Susan’s-past, this one was still fairly straightforward to make, and I fell in love with a quick and easy step…blending half the cooked strawberries before putting the pectin in. It took no extra time (especially with a hand blender) but made the consistency of the jam much smoother which will be marvellous when it comes time to spread it on toast!