I'm feeling a bit bereft. Lots of my lovely friends here in Texas are buggering off. I'm trying not to take it personally, but really?! Azerbaijan? Borneo? Scotland? Do any of these exotic places really compare to Houston, Texas? The only upside is that I'm getting my freezer and pantry nicely restocked! And some of the donated food items are things I would never think to buy myself, so it's forcing me to come up with new culinary ideas ... always a bonus!
Take for example, the 1lb bag of frozen strawberries I found myself the proud owner of. I've always bought fresh before and didn't really know what to do with them, until inspiration came in the form of my bread machine. I noticed as I was putting it away the other day that it has a rather random 'Jam' setting. So I wondered whether the frozen strawberries could be used to make up some yummy Strawberry Jam?! Turns out they can!
You will need:
- 1lb (16oz) bag of frozen, unsweetened strawberries
- 3-1/4 cups of sugar
- A large preserving jar, or 2 normal jars - washed in very hot water and air dried.
- A bread machine with a 'Jam' setting.
Put them in the bread machine with the sugar. Select the 'Jam' setting and press start. The program on my machine takes 1 hour and 5 minutes... time for a cuppa and sit down! When it's finished, carefully pour into the clean jar(s) and leave to cool for at least 3 hours before refrigerating.
The verdict... delicious! It's a bit runnier than shop-bought jam, but I guess you could add some pectin if you prefer it set more. The best thing is it was sooooo easy. Easy peasy. It literally took about 5 minutes of actual effort and the machine did the rest. I've made jam the normal way before and it's satisfying and fun, but a bit of a faff to be honest (all that messing about with thermometers or cold plates)! This was so simple. And just think of the possibilities... seasonal homemade gifts! I created a gift label for this jar of jam to illustrate my point, and I would think it looks 'berry nice!