Strawberry Jam

 

Next to the clinic where I work in there is an old construction site. I used to walk by the place without paying much attention to its chipped walls, long forgotten stacks of bricks and empty abandoned windows but then the other day,something caught my eye. A little flower plant growing in a crack on a little ledge on one of the walls.

This ledge is some 5 meters off the ground and it is made of concrete and yet a seed found its way into a crack and grew into a little plant with pretty red flowers. I was thinking of it ,the seed could not have landed in a more hostile environment. Did it think before growing into the beautiful plant it is now about its odds to survive? Did it think of all the difficulties? How would it get water? Can its little roots find a place to hold on to against the hard unforgiving rock wall? It had all the excuses in the world NOT to grow. No one would have blamed it if it simply shriveled and died. The challenges were too big and its chances of winning too small. Yet, it had a dream, it had something to give, some inner beauty that needed to shine and decided that it was going to give it its all and live! not only live but grow and bloom with brilliant fragrant flowers.It reminded me of a poem I read once by Tupac

Did you hear about the rose that grew
from a crack in the concrete?
Proving nature’s law is wrong it
learned to walk with out having feet.
Funny it seems, but by keeping its dreams,
it learned to breathe fresh air.
Long live the rose that grew from concrete
when no one else ever cared

If you found yourself in a similar situation, trapped in a place where the odds are stacked against you. Would you give up before starting? or would you throw caution to the wind and give it your all? Would you hold on to your dream to grow and bloom? or would you shiver and hide because there is no way you could ever make it? Do you need a clear and easy way to go on? or would you rather MAKE your own road?

Strawberries raw

This time of year, strawberries are everywhere. With their tempting red color. Juicy, fragrant and sweet. I was impatiently waiting for the strawberry season this year to make this orange zest, brown sugar and cinnamon strawberry jam.The recipe comes from Rufus food and spirit guide. I made this jam last year and it was a huge hit with the kids, they would spread it on toast, eat it on top of pancakes or spread it in crepes.It quickly made its way to the top of the family’s favorite jams list along with Spree’s plum lavender jam and mum’s orange jam.

The orange zest and the cinnamon are subtle in the finished jam, yet they add a fruity fragrant tone that makes any one who tastes this jam go: hmmm this is really good! it is strawberry jam with a little something extra. I can’t pin point it but it is amazing! They are both optional but I strongly encourage you to give them a try.

strawberries ingredient shot

I love making freezer jams as opposed to regular ones because you get to use less sugar. Usually jam is made with a 1:1 ratio by weight of fruit to sugar. I find that this much sugar over powers the fruit, it gets lost in all that sweetness. Making freezer jam means I get to use half as much sugar, I use a 2:1 fruit: sugar ratio and that allows the fruit flavor  to really shine. If you love strawberries, do give this a try

One year ago: Armenian spice cake ..daring bakers April challenge

Two years ago: Yeasted oregano cheese muffins

chef in disguise @ strawberry jam

Strawberry jam

If you need to convert the measurements, check out my conversion tables page

1 kg strawberries

500 g sugar

2 table spoons brown sugar (optional)

1 cinnamon stick (optional)

Zest of one orange

Juice of half a lemon

Instructions

Hull the strawberries and cut them into medium sized pieces.

Place the strawberries in a pot.

Add the sugar and let them stand for a couple of hours (this will draw out the juices of the strawberries)

Add the lemon juice, orange zest and cinnamon stick to the pot and bring to a boil over medium heat stirring occasionally

Cook until reduced in half, remember to keep stirring every now and then to prevent it from sticking

Allow the jam to cool, fill into jar and store in the fridge

strawberry jam

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