Alright guys, let’s get this out of the way. Let’s all sing it together:
Everybody get up it’s time to slam now
We got a real jam goin’ down
Welcome to the Space Jam
Here’s your chance do your dance at the Space Jam
Alright, we can all stop making jam jokes now that I have officially opened this blog post with the Space Jam theme song.
One of my summer goals for the past two years has been to go berry picking! I’ve never had my life together enough for a summer bucket list but berry picking has been at the top of that non-existent list. But this year I had it together and found the first u-pick strawberry weekend at a farm in the middle of Kansas. We are talking like in the middle of Kansas, one gas station in the middle of the highway, slightly scary isolated from anyone. Note: do not listen to true crime podcasts when doing something like this. You will stop to go to the bathroom at a gas station and try to plan your emergency escape should something happen. Just don’t listen and you’ll be able to pee in peace.
My first goal was to get as many strawberries as possible and then figure out what I was going to make after that. Then I started realizing that picking strawberries are a much bigger pain in the butt than I thought. I committed though, because well, that was my only option. As I was picking them I knew that I wanted to make strawberry jam! Personally I am a jelly person instead of a jam. However, when it comes to fresh fruit, you cannot beat jam. Especially strawberry jam. Then I realized that I actually few sentimental memories about jam.
When I was a kid, I went to my mom’s best friend’s house and she was canning and I learned about how the “POP!” sound that meant the can was sealed. What jam she was canning I have no idea, but I know I was obsessed with figuring out what was happening. Barb, which is the most classic mom’s best friend name ever, had a vintage farmhouse kitchen with a legit farm and I was charmed by it then and now in love with how charming it is. That happened one random summer day as a child and I’ve wanted to learn how to can ever since. My sister has a glorious pantry full of her canned everything, including a vanilla bourbon peach jam. I have dreams about jam. Plus she is a cooking goddess and everything she makes is incredible. You can see a jam theme.
So this weekend I spent Sunday making strawberry basil jam. I texted my sister for jam advice because as we know, that’s what sisters are for. I felt like the combination of basil and strawberry was safe but yet questionable enough that it feels elevated. Whenever there’s a savory + sweet combination I always feel like it’s a test if I’m a real adult with adult taste. Let me tell you something, you can probably find me every Sunday from now on in my kitchen making jam. “You get a jam, you get a jam and YOU get a jam!” is what I feel like when I get to deliver fresh strawberry jam. Oh and also, Target employees do an excellent job of not asking why you are 26 and looking at canning items.
So Sunday morning I woke up early just to make strawberry jam and strawberry basil jam. First off, prep work is no joke. Second, read a recipe thoroughly. I did not. So I was missing an ingredient and I decided to Google until I found a recipe that I knew I could manipulate. Basically, Google until you find the answer you want. That’s how I get through life at this point.
The winner? A hybrid of this recipe and then a recipe that my sister, the jam and canning queen. Why? Because you cannot box me in with one recipe. The result? If you follow on Instagram you saw EIGHT perfect jars of jam. Oh and it unleashed a beast inside of me. Now every time I see a fruit I think, “Hmmm, how could I turn this into a sweet/savory jam?” I even went down the yogurt aisle to look for flavor inspiration.
My next adventure? Blackberries! I am so excited to get to pick sooo many of my favorite fruit and figure out how to make a blackberry serrano jam! I am obsessed with sweet/spicy things and I am determined to find the perfect marriage of the two. Also, I know I am an adult because I am literally planning my summer around fresh produce and canning things. I might as well be from the 1950’s, except I don’t have to follow the patriarchy.
So there it is, I’ve got a jam plan for the rest of the summer. You can expect lots of Instagram updates on this as well as probably a plea for someone to come eat all the jam.