It is October.
To me, that means shiny brown conkers, leaves in yellow and red, apple cake and low-sitting clouds opening up to
a deep blue sky.
But in my daily reality, October comes with new green leaves on the trees, flowers exploding, lots of strawberries,
and weaverbirds building a whole village full of beautifully woven nests in the mulberry tree.
Even after 17 years in the Southern Hemisphere, I am not used to the seasons being swapped around.
Maybe this is why I didn't eat the lovely juicy strawberries I harvested with cream and vanilla ice cream. I also didn't
make stawberry daiquiris. But I decided to make jam, for the first time in my life.
I do know that nobody makes strawberry jam in autumn, but it still seems like a good compromise, a possibility to reconcile
my two worlds.
If you live on what I still consider the 'normal' side of the world, keep the recipe for next spring or use plums instead of the strawberries.
Making the jam was a revelation.
For some reason I always assumed that this is very difficult to do, and that it is the privilege of real housewives. Women
that know what they are doing in the kitchen.
Women like my mum, who makes the most delicious jams.
But all you really need is fruit, canning sugar and a bit of lemon juice. Much easier to do then the average lunch or cake :-).
To make strawberry jam, you will need:
500 g (16 oz) of fresh strawberries
500 g (16 oz) of canning sugar 1:1
a squirt of lemon juice
2 small glass jars
If you have more fruit just adjust the recipe, 500 g was all my garden had to offer at this stage.
Here are the instructions with about a hundred pictures:
First wash your strawberries and take off the green:
Now cut them into small pieces:
Mix those pieces with the canning sugar and let stand for a while, so the juice in the strawberries gets released:
In the meantime, put your jars plus lids in a pot with enough water to cover them completely and bring to the boil. Boil for
about 5 minutes to sterilize the jars.
Add a bit of lemon juice to your fruit mixture (that will help to keep the deep red color), and bring to the boil. Keep
stiring for about 3 minutes (or according to the instructions on your canning sugar:
Now you can mash the fruit up a bit more if you want to:
Boil for a further couple of minutes. Scrap of the foam on top of the jam and discard.
Put a bit of jam onto a plate. If it becomes gel-like it is done:
Pour the jam into the glass jars, filling them up as much as possible:
Close the jars tightly:
and turn them around for a while to create a vacuum:
Don't forget to feed the helpers:
And that's it, easy-peasy!
Wishing you a great start into the weekend (tonight, we are going to a party without Eva, haven't done that in ages!)
Lots of love,