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
- In a food processor, process strawberries until coarsely chopped – or chop coarsely by hand.
- Transfer chopped berries to a large skillet and stir in sugar and lemon juice.
- 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.
- To store, seal jar and refrigerate, 10-14 days.