We’ve had an abundance of strawberries in the past few weeks, and although G. is getting tired of picking, we can’t help but be grateful. We planted our strawberry patch three years ago. We got no berries the first year because the plants were new.
That fall, we “renovated” the patch according to the directions that came with the plants, but G. went a little overboard on covering them with straw. They all died.
Luckily, there were a lot of runners, and G. planted those last summer. Since they were new plants, we again had no berries.
But this year, the plants are a year old and we’ve been blessed with buckets of them. G. picked 11 pounds in just one day.
We can’t eat the berries fast enough, so I’ve been doing some canning. On a recent day off, I put up 9 half-pints of strawberry jam, 5 half-pints of strawberry balsamic jam and 14 half-pints of strawberry sauce for ice cream or waffles.
G. scoffed at the idea of strawberry balsamic jam, but I was intrigued because I find many jams too sweet. I thought it might have a bit of tartness to offset the sweetness. I made it wrong though, stirring in the vinegar at the beginning instead of the end, so my batch wasn’t tart at all. But it wasn’t like plain strawberry jam either. G. and I couldn’t figure out how to describe it, so we settled on “smooth.” It is a smoother jam _ and definitely worth trying if you have extra berries right now.
(adapted from Well-Preserved by Eugenia Bone)
2 pounds strawberries
2 pounds sugar
5 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon butter
Combine strawberries, sugar and balsamic vinegar in a pan. Let sit about 2 hours to release juices and let pectin start to activate.
Heat strawberry mixture on stove, stirring until sugar is completely dissolved.
Stir in butter. Bring to a rolling boil and boil for 4 minutes.
Take temperature with candy thermometer. Continue to boil until mixture reaches 220 degrees Fahrenheit.
Can in half-pints, leaving 1/4-inch head space and boiling for 10 minutes.