Strawberry Jam

Long-time followers of this blog know, my love of strawberries is no secret. So when strawberry season rolls around here in North Carolina, I over-indulge big time (I even finally dug up 40 sq ft for a strawberry garden in the backyard). So what to do when even I find I can’t consume these plentiful strawberries quickly enough? Prepare for the dark days ahead and preserve them by making strawberry jam! Its pretty hard to beat the flavor of good, home-made jam, and if you’ve never made your own, its incredibly easy.

yields approximately 6 (8 oz) half pint glass preserving jars

  • 3 and 1/3 pints strawberries (about 2.5 lbs)
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 box pectin
  • 3.5 cups granulated sugar

As with all home preserve-making endeavors, be sure to follow safe canning practices. That means a few things:

  • Wash the jar(s) in warm soapy water and then

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Spring Pea Risotto with Garlic Scapes and Pancetta

When I want to enjoy the produce of spring-time, whether its beets or asparagus, I’ve found I follow something of a trend: I make risotto. So with the arrival of fresh English peas and garlic scapes, well, what other options did I have?

Risotto is like my snooty version of comfort food. Rich, just slightly al dente grains of rice swimming in a creamy, luxurious sauce never fails to provide a canvas upon which to brush some incredible flavors. In this case, the focus was delicious, fresh peas–puréed into the sauce and bedecked whole throughout the rice leaving a tinge of varying shades of green throughout. These are countered with equally distinct but gentle flavors such as leeks and garlic scapes, all elevated with a touch of lemon for brightness. In more stark contrast for an unctuous bit of crunch is some pan-fried pancetta.

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