The season has burst forth. Those luscious, deep scarlet, heart-shaped, fresh picked fruit of sweetness finally arrived. Ah, summer. Fresh picked Strawberries! Two gorgeous half flats somehow managed to grace our kitchen counter Saturday morning. Somehow, meaning Mr. Right got up early and dashed out the door and was back quick as a bunny bringing gifts from God. (well, God, and some early rising farmers) Oh, goodness, the aroma was intoxicating. I kept taking in deep breath after deep breath. Oh, you know the scent? The scent of fresh, warmed by the sunshine fruit. The scent of dirt and warm cardboard box, you can smell nature’s sweet gift from the farmer. They are not a cheap date. Nor should they be. They are a glorious, labor intensive yearly treat from the farmer. Farmer? Who knew the tall, lanky, humorous, annoying boy, sitting in my high school class would end up being a teacher and a farmer? Who knew Russ Picha would somehow find his name on my list of things to be grateful for? Well, he probably did, since his family has served the Puyallup Valley for generations. God bless teachers and farmers. Yes, God bless ’em all.
We indulged. We gorged. We scarfed. We cleaned and dripped. We stole one from the colander. We stole one from the tray to be frozen. We had them for breakfast, lunch and dessert. I can do it all over again today. Yes, I had some of those scarlet beauties on my oatmeal this morning.
I craved, yes craved, a piece of toast slathered with strawberry jam. Not a lady like amount………..slather and then gob so much more that you can’t imagine how the toast is going to hold up with that amount of jam on it! I wanted it so badly. So, I made some. Yes, that quick. No kidding. You can do it too. In a little over an hour, you can be in a deck chair, feet up, sitting in the sunshine, taking that first bite out of your jam laden piece of toast. So delicious, that you will for a moment, put down your piece of toast and snap a picture to text to all your friends.
Side note: The reason I fell head over heels in love with this recipe (this isn’t your grandma’s 4 cups of sugar infused jam recipe) is because it switches it up an elegant notch. You switch out the sugar for fresh local honey, you use chia seeds instead of pectin and by doing so………………you feel really, really GREAT about your indulgence. You feel so GREAT that you actually have seconds. Yes, that freeing and that delicious! 5 STAR GOLD delicious. and a huge thank you to girlfriends………………buzzy girlfriends, who share incredible recipes that make your life lovely. An honest to goodness girlfriend who never gives up on you. God bless girlfriends who stand in your corner and quietly share the most incredible, delectable, skirt twirling recipes with you. They ROCK! (the girlfriends & the recipes).
Here’s how you go about it. First, wear an apron (don’t ask me how I know this is a GREAT first step, just do it). Then measure out 1 pound of those beauties. Take off the stems, and smash em up nice with a fork. Get your stress out for the day. Smoosh and smash and press them against the side of the bowl. Here, if like me, you will want to sample a taste, um, just to make sure the taste held up in the smooshing process. Ah, yes, still good. Add 2 Tablespoons Chia Seeds and Lemon juice. Then add an overflowing Tablespoon of Honey. Mix it well, pour it into a couple of pint canning jars. Put on the lids. Put them in the refrigerator (the jars of jammy goodness, not just the lids) and then lick the polka dot spatula clean. Now the difficult part………. wait at least 45 minutes…………….we’re waiting, we’re waiting……….we are waiting……………………get out the toaster and a plate and some bread…………waiting………Geesh………….. ………..Pop that bread down, rub your hands together in anticipation……………….more waiting…………. the aroma of toasted
bread………………………..grab that jar of jammy goodness. Unscrew that jar ring, pop that disk open, dig in with a spoon (you can’t get as much with a knife), spoon it on baby! Again, not a real baby……………spoon, slather, gob, pile on oodles of the stuff. The crimson red, glorious, shirt staining, miracle of pure, spoon licking, finger licking goodness. Cut your toast (ask our boys, only heathens would not cut their toast or sandwiches), grab a couple of paper napkins (this is going to be a dripping mess), walk out to the deck, sit down in one of those lady of leisure lounge chairs, take a deep breath, SAY GRACE (put your heart and soul into it, like you mean it!). Take that first huge, non lady like big, fat bite. Holy Batman, ZOWIE, POW, ZANG! WOWZER! The words flash across your mind……………so good. NOT that it will last this long, but keep your jam in the refrigerator and it will last up to two weeks.
Mr. Right and I are grateful for farmers (right down to their dirty hands and sweat stained baseball hats). Those first strawberries of the season made our weekend sweeter.
“In the sweetness of friendship let there be laughter, and sharing of pleasures.” Kahlil Gibran