Small batch Strawberry Preserves using only three ingredients! Bright strawberry flavour with a hint of sweetness, this jam is about as easy as jam gets!
I hope I’m getting this one out to you in time for the upcoming strawberry harvesting season. In my neck of the woods, local strawberries are harvested in June/July. And there’s really nothing like locally grown produce! Locally grown is always best and it will certainly be evident in your Strawberry Preserves!
One of my favourite things to do is to visit a farmers’ market on a Saturday morning. Even though we have some great markets right here in the city, a drive to the country is one of my favourite Saturday morning past-times. We can’t do that every Saturday, obviously, so we will often walk to the closet farmers’ market – yes, walk! Isn’t that convenient for someone who lives in downtown Toronto?
Like almost anything else in life though, there’s a skill that needs to be developed with shopping at farmers’ markets. First, you need to go early to get the best stuff. If things are seasonal, such as strawberries, then arriving at the market by 7am will ensure you get the best of the crop for that particular day.
However, if you’re a budget shopper, try arriving at the market around 1pm. Most farmers’ markets close up at 1 or 2pm, and rather than bring that unsold produce back home, they will most likely lower the price. This is where you can stock up and save – especially if you’re into preserving produce. Just remember, at the end of the day means that all of the best produce will most likely be gone.
John.e and I like to frequent St. Jacob’s Market in St. Jacob’s, Ontario. Nearly every time we drive to Kitchener to visit my folks, we find an hour or two to drive that extra 15 minutes to the town of St. Jacob’s. Sometimes, we head only to the market, and sometimes we just go into town and do a little retail therapy. They have some of the best little shops!
If you’re ever in the neighbourhood, I would recommend starting your shopping at the antique markets. Next, move on to the indoor market – you can find the best herbs and spices, as well as dried beans and legumes here. All organic and super inexpensive! They also have this one booth that sells the best organic popping corn I’ve ever tasted. You can get three bags for $10! Try the yellow, blue, and red mix – it our favourite!
Save the outdoor vendors for last. You’ll no doubt stock up on lots of produce and veggies and you don’t want those to sit in your car on a hot summer Saturday morning. We made the mistake of buying raspberries one time, along with other fruits and veggies. We took them back to the car and headed to the indoor market. When we got back to our car, the raspberries were already jam! But the car smelled divine!
Back to the strawberries – If you’re close to a farmers’ market, support your local farmers and buy their produce. If not, and you need to head to a local grocery store, check the packaging and buy the strawberries that were grown closest to where you live. In fact, Dear Reader, it’s a good practice to buy everything as local as possible!! I’m sure I don’t need to educate you on the benefits of buying locally, so I’ll just move on to the recipe for this delightfully simple strawberry preserve.
- 4 cups strawberries, washed and roughly chopped (approximately 2 pints)
- 1 cup sugar
- ¼ cup lemon juice, freshly squeezed
- Place the strawberries in a deep sauce pan. Pour the sugar over top and pour in the lemon juice. Simmer for 60-90 minutes over medium-low heat until the desired thickness/consistency has been reached. This recipe makes 500ml.