My mother used to make me strawberry shortcake for breakfast on my birthday when I was a kid. My birthday is in early July, which was at the end of strawberry season around here, but no matter – if she couldn’t get ripe local berries, she’d buy what was available and macerate them in some sugar for a while before making the shortcake.
I also remember that sometimes instead of the traditional biscuit, she’d get those spongy yellow mini-cakes (you can find them near the strawberries in most grocery stores this time of year). I loved those little cakes. Light and fluffy, they reminded me of another childhood favorite – Twinkies. Yep. Twinkies. I think my introduction to those has been blamed on my paternal grandfather.
If you've never made jam, and are feeling hesitant about going through the whole cooking and canning process, and you just want to maybe dip your toe into the jam-making pool and see what temperature the water is, then this is the way to do that.
Alex - the jam afficianado in our house - has pronounced this jam "Not bad...it's actually pretty good." With two approving nods of his head. So I'm thinking I got about an A-.
As I'd mentioned after my trip to the Farmers' Market on Friday, I bought a total of 4 quarts of strawberries: 6 individual pints of berries from one farm, one quart from another farm. All were gorgeously ripe and red all the way through. I also bought 2 lbs of rhubarb from the Honey Stick Man. So I figured I'd have enough for a batch of jam and a pie. Happily, I was wrong - I got two batches of jam and a pie out of the deal. Well, nearly two batches. But I'm getting ahead of myself.
Yesterday it was hot and humid - a preview of summer. I wasn't in the mood to cook anything at lunchtime for the kids, but I wanted to give them something other than the ol' peanutbutter and jelly standby.