Monday, May 05, 2008

Caught in a Jam

A little while ago I bought a bag of Dole Frozen Strawberries on impulse at the grocery store. I admit it, I was lured in by the picture on the bag. Those strawberries looked so plump and sweet and juicy I was sure what was in the bag would be just the same. And it's not like I am easily fooled by seductive packaging. I was just really in the mood for strawberries and knew it was going to be a while before the local batch was fresh. They taste so good on top of my favorite (when I'm being healthy) snack of Stonyfield Farms organic fat-free vanilla yogurt. So I thought maybe frozen would work.

But I was wrong. They were not sweet at all. Even with sweetened French Vanilla yogurt, they were not sweet. What to do with them? Usually something like that would just sit in my refrigerator until it was too late to do anything even if I could think of something. But I am really trying not to waste any food, especially now when price and availability of food are such an issue right now.

So I threw them into a saucepan and added about 1/3 cup of sugar. I brought it to a boil, lowered the heat, covered the pan and left it to simmer. And within minutes was savoring the most intense strawberry aroma I believe has ever graced my apartment. Unfortunately, it was because the pan was boiling over. Fortunately, I did not leave it for too long because I wasn't sure what it was going to do. So I removed the lid, lowered the heat even further, and let it simmer for another hour or so.

And ended up with a rich syrupy strawberry jam, or jam-y strawberry syrup, whichever way you like. After the fact, I added some lemon juice, which really brightened it up. It was good with my yogurt (kind of a stir down from the top thing), delicious spread on toast with my eggs on Saturday morning, and simply divine with the whole wheat buttermilk biscuits I whipped up on Sunday. The biscuits were not bad on the first go 'round, but they could use some tweaking, after which I will happily share that recipe.

Quick Strawberry Jam

1 lb. package frozen strawberries, thawed, with juice (you could use fresh, but why?)
1/3 cup sugar (or to taste)
1 Tbsp lemon juice

Combine strawberries and sugar in 3-quart saucepan. Bring to a boil and immediately lower heat as low as it will go. Cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, until strawberries have disintegrated and sauce has thickened. Stir in lemon juice.


Anonymous said...

Hey D-
My landlord is expanding his gardening this summer and we are probably getting raspberries! If they grow like the tomatoes did last year we should be swimming in them, so keep that in mind for future recipes.

dejamo said...

Oooh, raspberries! I will start droolin- planning right now :)

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