Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Saving Strawberries

You know how you are about to make a salad for supper and you look in the crisper to get the lettuce and cucumbers and notice an entire carton of strawberries shoved in the back of the drawer?  Then you take them out and see you have to use them right now or toss the entire thing?  (Please tell me I am not the only one who occasionally overlooks fruit.)  You start thinking about how you can incorporate it into the night time meal, but honestly a bowl of strawberries does not sound good with grilled scamp, a baked potato and salad.  Keep? Toss? Keep? Toss?

Right as I was about to throw it away I remembered I had paid 2 bucks for it.  Trashing it would be akin to taking those 2 dollars and flushing them down the toilet, so I started thinking and flipping through my favorite food sites to find a quick recipe for strawberry cake.  Somehow or another during the search a recipe for Strawberry Balsamic Jam popped up. 

 Hmmmmm.  It sounded good, but I did not want to run to the store and buy additional strawberries and I surely did not want to be stuck canning all night.  Instead I played around with the ingredients and the amounts to get a single small jar of what I guess is more like a conserve than a true jam.

                                           Strawberry Balsamic Conserve/Jam

1 pound very ripe strawberries, washed and hulled
3 tablespoons sugar ( I used sucanat  just to see if it would work)
2 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar 

Put all in a small sauce pan and cook over medium low heat until the berries are very soft.  Mash the fruit using a potato masher (a fork would work) and cook until the mixture is very thick, watching to make sure it does not caramelize. (30 minutes maybe)  Let cool then place in a container in the refrigerator.  

Though I don't dislike jams and jellies, I never actively look for them.  I am not one of those people who want jelly on my toast or biscuits...until this!  I think my indifference has been the lack of compound flavors in the jams and jellies I had had in the past.  I have eaten balsamic over strawberries on ice cream and thought it was delicious. ( Thanks, Cindy!)  That same kick of flavor was what made this jam taste just fantastic.  I have eaten it on toast, a plain scone and on goat cheese spread on a cracker ( Oh my goodness, that was the bomb)

Deliciousness and strawberries saved!   It extended the life of the berries by about 3 weeks and tasted good.  That is what I call a win/win situation.  Next on my list, peach black pepper jam?

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