Saturday, May 24, 2008

So Cosmo Says You're Fat? Well, I Ain't Down With That.

Strawberry jam at Marco and Allison's apartment today. We ate squash blossom-anchovy pizza and listened to Cuban hip-hop and Marco's rap mix. Amusingly, the only time he loses his Roman accent is when he's quoting rap lyrics. OH. My God, Becky? Look at her butt.

"When I think of this country, I think of 'Baby Got Back,'" he opined. "How do you sit down at a table and write this song? I can't even imagine it."

I tried to follow Mrs RC Moneymaker's (real name, I swear--check page 189) "8 Minute Strawberry Jam" recipe from Pickles and Preserves, but there were some complications. First, the sugar to fruit ratio is insane: 4 parts sugar to 1 part fruit. Maybe this is why they had wooden teeth in ye olden days.

Then the wording tripped me up. The recipe requires the addition of "4 cups heated sugar." Heated? Is that...boiled? Liquid? Tossed in a saucepan and warmed up, but solid? No clue, and I didn't want to discover a hunk of hardened candy in the center of the boiling fruit, so we freestyled a straightforward recipe that did the trick.

Straightforward Strawberry Jam

6 cups of strawberries, hulled and mashed
2 cups of sugar
Juice of 2 lemons

Toss the mashed strawberries and their juices into a nonreactive pot. Bring to a slow, even boil, then add the sugar. Taste after 30 minutes, add lemon, and adjust sugar if necessary. Boil over low heat until the color deepens to a warm rose and the texture is as you prefer--ours was workable after about 1.5 hours, but we cooked a full 2 hours to get a tighter texture.

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