Monday, May 31, 2010

The Disappearing Perfect Strawberry


What you are looking at is perfect strawberries.

They almost seem to be a fruit on the verge of extinction. The small, sweet, flavorful strawberry. It seems that today all you ever see are gigantic, flavorless berries. Who says bigger is better? Why must corporate farms be so focused on tasteless yield? That's why when I find gems like these, I can't resist buying them.

Keep in mind, I have small hands. Some of the berries were, seriously, the size of the tip of my pinkie. And yet they are flavor packed.

I found them at the Davis farmers market. Generally, I only buy a basket of berries at a time. Being single, I just can't eat farm fresh berries fast enough before they start to go bad. But today I couldn't resist and they had the three basket discount.

I was still faced with the dilemma of what to do with them. I was a bad girl today and overbought fruit and goodies (cupcake tasting again). I savored a few and then made spicy strawberry jam with the rest.

I look forward to making this jam again with more experimentation with chiles. Today was a case of having the best of intentions but the lack of ingredients. Still, it's pretty yummy.

Spicy Strawberry Jam

1 lb hulled strawberries (halved if they are large)
1 c brown sugar
1 pkg pectin
1/3 c lemon juice
1 cinnamon stick
1 or 2 T of grated ginger (I used the puree in a tube, so 1 T squeeze)
2 t red pepper flakes

Put all ingredients into a pot and cook over low heat until jam becomes thick. Remove cinnamon stick. Pour into container(s) and store. This made about 1-2 pints of jam.
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