Hot strawberries perfume the air. Everything is covered with the most pleasurable stickiness of combined fruit and sugar. Measuring spoons and stirring spoons. Big pots with their big lids. The Pyrex measuring cup. Anything involved in the process of jam making is not exempt, including the skin of my wrists and the fine hairs on my knuckles.
Fresh from the pot: Sabjimata Tangerine Strawberry Conserve
Thankfully it is all water soluble. Thankfully the smell is lighter than air and permeates my entire house. Unlike the heavy smell of deep frying or the heady smell of pan frying mustard seed, ginger and chili peppers, the fragrance of jam making somehow makes the body feel weightless and ethereal. As if heaven were not up in the clouds but closer–somewhere out in a field filled with the most wonderful earth–dark and cool and full of worms.
As you might be able to tell, I am throughly enjoying my 30 gallons of berries as they migrate from field to car to kitchen to pot to jar. Once a delicate, ephemeral berry, now a fruity treat with a shelf life.
I have a lot of work cut out for my and my “take five” is almost up, which means I need to wash 2 five gallon pots, restock my oven with jars and get back to jam making. But I just wanted to share my first big pot-full: Tangerine Strawberry Conserve. Honey Tangerines, always Florida Fresh!, combine with straight from the field strawberries, adding a citrusy brightness to this low sugar jam. And while conventional jams are made with 55% sugar, Tangerine Strawberry Conserve is only 20% sugar. And that sugar is natural evaporated cane juice–never white sugar or corn syrup! Additionally, unlike marmalades, which is what most people think of when they think of a citrus jam, Tangerine Strawberry Conserve contains no water. This is straight juice–full flavor and uncut.
I need to get back to chopping berries. Tangerine Strawberry Conserve is now in the Sabjimata Online Store. Happy shopping.