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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Cardamom & Peach Cheesecake

This is that time of year where I get antsy about food. Its spring-time–the birds are chirping, the sun is out, and it feels like summer is just around the corner. So where’s the spring-time produce?! I know its too soon for the kinds of things I’m craving, and this is exactly why its always a good idea to preserve a bit of the season–to abate such cravings until nature has a chance to catch up. So today’s dessert: a sweet, creamy, cardamom perfumed cheesecake, topped with cardamom-scented peach preserves.

I’ll be honest: I’d forgotten about these peach preserves. They were buried in the back of my pantry, but when I found them, I needed to finally dig in (peach season is one of the things I’m anxiously awaiting, after all). They were simple to make (many months ago), and I remember from sampling a… click to read more…

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Cardamom Peach Preserves

Just like I get the strong urge to braise everything in the winter, I find myself wanting to preserve everything I encounter during the summer. After enjoying many a peach (and I must confess, I think I prefer Carolina peaches over Georgia peaches…), I vaguely recalled a recipe for peach preserves I had encountered and knew I had to make some for myself while I could still find some amazing local peaches.

Cardamom Peach Preserves

My first inclination when it comes to preserves is always jelly or jam, so I thought I’d try to not do that, instead opting for larger chunks of fruit and a looser syrup. Also, while the best preserves tend to be simple (e.g. just fruit + sugar), some pairings are a match made in heaven, and peach + cardamom is such a match. They both offer such… click to read more…

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Blueberry Jam

As blueberry season comes to an end, you realize you can only squeeze in some many blueberry-centric recipes before you need a long-term plan. How will you cope without them in the coming months? 😮 The answer is simple: get out a clean jar or few and preserve some blueberry jam.

I’ve come to appreciate how easy it is to make preserves and that you can make some pretty neat things that you might not find in the grocery store, so why not make home canning and preserving a regular occurrence? If you haven’t tried it yet, go out, buy yourself some mason jars and give this one a try–it is so easy and so enjoyable to have jars of your own home-made jam to dip into throughout the year.… click to read more…

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Spiced Brandied Cherries

I’m not sure if I’ve been living in a cave, but I’d never heard of brandied cherries before. When I first ran across them over at Sidewalk Shoes though, I knew I had to try them right away. I mean how good does it sound–preserved fruit, but in liquor! Right up my alley.

Unfortunately, like when making preserved lemons, I can’t tell you how this tastes yet. It requires a bit of time to age and mingle. Of course, seeing how I sampled as I cooked, I can say I’m eagerly looking forward to when I get to open this jar up. This could go on top of ice creams, in mixed drinks, or just make for a great adult snack. Plus, its a fun way to let you enjoy cherries out of season.

  • ~3 cups cherries, stemmed but not

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