Quick Strawberry Jam

July 10, 2012

Are you always busy? Everyone I know seems to be. We’re all over committed and leading lives that just go, go, go. I don’t know if you saw this New York Times piece, “The Busy Trap” but it’s well worth a read. It makes the point that almost all of our busyness is self imposed and avoidable, and that slowing down (not just for five minutes a day, but in terms of the life choices we make) is incredibly important.

My favourite paragraph begins thus: “Idleness is not just a vacation, an indulgence or a vice; it is as indispensable to the brain as vitamin D is to the body, and deprived of it we suffer a mental affliction as disfiguring as rickets.

This recipe is for busy types in a very obvious way (it takes less than 30 minutes start to finish!) but it’s also for those who perhaps are trying to slow it down and to find some idle time. I’m in that group. I’m trying not to over-commit this summer because while I like to feel useful, needed, and to find creative outlets, I also value quiet time that is mine to fill however I choose.

Small food projects like this jam allow me a little creative outlet while not taking over my days the way some cooking projects do, thus freeing my time up for reading great books (this, this, and this, if you’re interested), tubing down rivers, swimming, and bike riding, which to me are the life blood of summer.

Dan claimed this jam is some of the best he’s ever had. It’s amazingly sweet but there’s hardly any sugar in it compared to normal jams. The strawberries really do all the work for you as they release their juices and break down.

We’ve been enjoying it on fresh or toasted baguette in the morning and it’s provided a fresh, sweet and easy item to grab on these stupefyingly warm mornings. Hope you enjoy.

Quick Strawberry Jam
adapted from Martha Stewart


  • 1 quart (2 lbs) hulled strawberries
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice


  1. In a food processor, process strawberries until coarsely chopped – or chop coarsely by hand.
  2. Transfer chopped berries to a large skillet and stir in sugar and lemon juice.
  3. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until jam is thickened and bubbles completely cover the surface, about 10-20 minutes. If it doesn’t seem thick and jammy enough after that time, let it keep bubbling until it does. Transfer jam to a jar and let cool to room temperature.
  4. To store, seal jar and refrigerate, 10-14 days.
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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

holly July 10, 2012 at 1:57 pm

that article! seriously, such wisdom. i’ve been thinking a lot about it lately, and even though i haven’t slowed down much, i am trying to be more cognizant of the decisions i make, what i commit to and how much time i give to them. it’s a start, right?

p.s. so excited to see you next week!


mommylisa July 10, 2012 at 2:00 pm

We totally need to do this on vacation up north. :)


Stephanie July 12, 2012 at 11:28 pm

Oh, thank you for sending me over to that article. It’s funny, because it’s just what I’ve been experiencing. I just had a mini-vacation, sitting outside in the sun at a folk festival for two days and I was delighted and amazed at the random thoughts that came into my head . . . Just sitting there on the grass, listening to the music, I had inspirations that may change the rest of my life. I couldn’t agree more that it is essential to live a life where busyness is not the highest virtue.

And — of course — here’s to quick, small-batch jams!


Marisa July 21, 2012 at 1:59 pm

Thank you for sharing that article – I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. And I am a big believer in the restorative powers of idleness. It is something we all probably need a lot more of in our busy lives. And I have to admit – I’ve always been pretty good at making time for it :D

And thank you for sharing the books you’ve been reading! I’ve wanted to get back here and tell you that after I read this post I ordered “Happy All the Time” from my library and completely devoured it! It was a very fascinating and also perplexing read – perplexing in that I’ve never met such unusual female characters in the pages of a novel before. But ultimately what I felt most for the book was delight. I feel it is the type of book I could read over again and again and find new thoughts to mull over and different takeaways. So thanks for the recommendation! I’ve since ordered some of her other books as well. I’ve also just read a book called “Trapeze” by Simon Mawer that I recommend. Very fascinating story about a British female agent working in occupied France during WWII.


Marisa July 21, 2012 at 2:00 pm

Oh and one more thing – the recipe!! I’m going to make it this weekend. I’ve been in the mood for some fresh jam but didn’t want to go to so much effort – so this will really fit the bill :)


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