Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Strawberry Jam

So this one time, when we were younger, my little brother made some brownies. From scratch. He was like ten-years-old. We were all pretty impressed that he was baking, and eagerly anticipating a sweet treat.

I cut myself a brownie and took a bite. It was sweet and chocolaty.

And then I noticed something strange....

They seemed a lot chewier than normal. But not the brownie kind of chewy. It was like there were tiny little sugary worms living inside those brownies. We quickly deduced that he had use powdered sugar instead of flour. Hence the sweetness. But who knew all that sugar would take on such a strange texture. They tasted fine, they were actually really sweet (duh!), but the texture was just too much to handle.

You may be wondering why in the world this has to do with strawberry jam.... Don't worry, I'll circle back:)  

I bought two pounds of strawberries for two bucks at Sam's club the other day. That’s a steal. So I figured it was time to make some strawberry jam.

I love strawberry jam. But only freezer jam. That cooked stuff is ga-ross. Growing up, there was ALWAYS strawberry jam in the freezer. I love to eat it with butter, not peanut butter, just butter and jam. I like it on toast, rolls, pancakes, french toast, bagels, you name it. It's delicious.

So yesterday, after waiting a few days to gather the courage, I decided to tackle the jam project.

I started cutting and mashing strawberries, feeling nostalgic, writing my lovely little blog post in my head. "How domestic am I?" I thought to myself. I took a minute to take a picture and brag on facebook:

I even started contemplating making a batch of bread and putting some jam in baby food jars to take to some friends. I don't bake bread. So that's a big deal.

The only tricky part of this whole endeavor is the timing. The mashed strawberries and sugar are supposed to sit for 10 minutes. When that 10 minutes is over, you're supposed to add the pectin and water that has been boiling "hard" for one minute.

I got a little anxious and started the pectin and water too early. I wasn't entirely sure how long it would take to come to a "hard boil" so I started it about 3 minutes in to the berry and sugar's 10 minutes. 

So... it boiled much, much faster than I anticipated. Worried that my berries and sugar weren't ready, I took the pectin off the stove just as it was starting to boil. I waited a few minutes and put it back on and finished making the jam. 

As I was filling jars, I snuck a little taste. It tasted delicious. 

And then I noticed something strange....

A gross, slimy, chewy little worm, so much like the ones in my brother's brownies.

I was so looking forward to some butter and jam on a piece of toast. But my jam is gross. It almost makes me gag. I've tasted it several times, just to make sure it really is gross. It really is gross. I'm so bummed. I still haven't thrown it out.

So all that time and and effort and daydreaming about delicious strawberry jam... and all I got was a big mess in my kitchen (I swear it looked much worse in person, I don't think the picture does it justice!). 

It's a good thing those strawberries were cheap!


Carol Green said...

That's my girl!

Jenn said...

hey--At least you tried! love it :)

Savanna said...

Well you got further than me, I'm too afraid to even try! Love it!