Strawberry Jam

Strawberry Jam

Strawberry Jam

Under a makeshift blue plastic roof, he stood wiping his brow, arranging and re-arranging the oranges. His precious wares gleamed and shone like colorful jewels in the mid morning sun. The time he scrubbed an apple till it shone reminded me of a cricket ball. Don’t bowlers polish their toy before flinging it to the batsmen? Ah. A little bit of cricket is good once in a while 😉

Well, he was a newbie but the stall was not. The baba from whom I usually buy my fruits was missing and in his place stood this diffident young man, with unsure hands and a shy gaze. As I headed towards them, he straightened his back and stood at attention. I smiled, assuring him I don’t bite.

“Apples ache dikh rahe hai”, I said. Apples look good.. He beamed. Immediately he grabbed a couple of apples and plonked them on the weighing scale. Oh! But I did not want any! I gestured him to stop and very sweetly but firmly told him that apples is not what I was looking for.

“Kya chaiye didi?”, he asked earnestly. What do you want
Strawberries.

But I saw no strawberries on his little display. But wait, he was still arranging his exhibit, remember? So with a ‘fret-no-more-I-have-all-that-you-want’ look, he dived some where back and returned with a handful of luscious beautiful berry boxes! Not wanting to turn me away, he upped his sale and told me to buy 2 and get one free! I raised an eyebrow. It was the young man’s first day at work, and if he continued this way, it would most probably be his last.

Just one box is what I need, I requested. He thrust two in my grocery bag and stood at attention again. Sigh! Why do they have to look so young, so earnest, so innocent.
In all probability, six months down the line this same guy will turn smart(extra smart), crooked and dishonest. But for now he was still sincere and simply not aware of the wile ways of the wicked world.

I bought 4 boxes that day.

One bottle is not enough!

One bottle is not enough!

Coming back home, I kicked myself. He is not naive, you are – I muttered under my breath for the umpteenth time. 4 boxes!! Ridiculous. I hid them in my refrigerator so that I would quickly forget my manic act and get on to a more productive part of the day.

I did come back to those beautiful berries, but with a recipe in hand. I’m going to make Jam I announce to one and all at home – in all to my lime loving 6-year-old and an impassive husband who has not eaten a crystal of sugar in the last 6 months. Their indifference did not buckle my high-on-sugar spirit.

Strawberries, Vanilla Beans, sugar and Lime - that's it!

Strawberries, Vanilla Beans, sugar and Lime – that’s it!

A recipe that simply calls for four ingredients and some flame time should not be let gone easily. If all goes well, this was definitely a keeper. I had all the stuff at home, vanilla, sugar, lime and of course the strawberries 🙂

ready to be licked ;)

ready to be licked 😉

To make 2 cups of Jam –

Ingredients

  • 3 cups of chopped strawberries
  • Extract of 1 vanilla bean or 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1.5 cups of sugar
  • Juice of half a lime.

Method

In a large pot, put all the ingredients – strawberries, the extract, sugar and lime juice. Bring it to a simmer over medium heat. I did not mash the jam, coz we like it chunky. But if you want it smooth, mash with the back of your ladle.
Stir well and bring it to a boil.Cook until it turns thick and glossy.

Note: To test if it is ready or not,place a spoonful of jam on a plate and place it in the fridge for a minute or two, if it is still runny cook for another 5 minutes and check again.

Let it sit for 10 minutes.Transfer the jam to a sterilized jar and cool to room temperature, before sealing the jar. (Refrigerate upto 10 days)

Bread and Jam - comfort food

Bread and Jam – comfort food

My daughter did lick a few spoonfuls because the aroma was so irresistible, but she refused it on bread. I satisfied my craving with a huge dollop on butter smeared bread, and it was SO good. It had been ages since I ate jam, I don’t even buy jam anymore because no one eats at my place. But since this was made at home, I gave in to the temptation.

I guess some flaky warm fresh croissants would do justice to this lovely jam. Hmm.. have to find a recipe for some croissants now, don’t you think? 🙂

yumm...

yumm…

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31 thoughts on “Strawberry Jam

  1. Perfect post Namrata… Compelling narration, Superb pictures and a block buster recipe. Loved this… Can this recipe be substituted for other fruits as well?

    • Elson, You’re too kind. I am not sure if this would work for other fruits.. maybe we could try pineapple or plums.. will try sometime in future and let you know 🙂

      • Lol.. Thanks Namrata 🙂

        Reason I asked was that I had earlier seen an orange marmalade recipe which was similar. Though I dont rememer where. So I was wondering if the base recipe for fruit jam is the same.

  2. As usual..a beUtiful write up Namrata and gorgeous pics :).
    I will try this jam and let you know… I am a huge fan of strawberry jam and orange marmalade:).
    I wish I had the strong will of your husband’s…6 months away from sugar.. Is he heading to be a saint? 😉

  3. Wonderful story chica! And the jam, oh the jam!!! Do you know that I never had store bought jam until I was in my late 20’s? My grandfather used to make lots of it and his is the only jam I had until he passed away. I’ve never made jam before, but maybe I should give it a go. Celeste 🙂

    • Thank you Celeste. I can relate with not having store brought jam till much later in life 🙂 I think its really special what your grandpa did..lucky girl. But time for you to give it a try. Yes definitely.

  4. You write so, so well. I loved every bit of that story about the fruit and vegetable seller. And yes, I know what you mean… I’ve been conned by similar people that I’ve felt an affiliation with or have felt sorry for before. You always kick yourself afterwards but at least you got a beautiful product out of it! The strawberry jam looks beautifully luscious and bright. I can imagine how good it must’ve tasted! x

  5. I looove strawberries and strawberry jam but its out of season here at the moment so I’ll have to wait a while. I love making my own jam too, and I love it when I meet people that make their own jam as well/.

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