Canning: The Third Act. And it turns out that 10 years later, math can still get the better of you. Or, “Strawberry red currant jam.”

Pretty.So, a bijillion things happened this week and it was impossible to get to the currants any earlier than today, so you can imagine how much I had built it all up in my mind. Glorious red jelly, I’d imagined, spread all over the tops of little rounds of brie that I would bake in puff pastry – and then we got busy, and Nick’s sister Jess had a baby, and I ran out of jars and payday hadn’t quite happened and then I found myself in a copy-editing frenzy for my friends’ fantastic magazine on my day off and then there were shirtless French men on my deck painting and getting all aggro and asking me questions and my head was going to explode and then, AND THEN, when I finally squished all the juice out of the red currants, I measured and found myself with two cups. TWO. I did not anticipate this, and I calculated and estimated and everything. And I needed like seven cups to make jelly, so I defrosted all my strawberries from a month ago and made strawberry jam with red currants and was a little disappointed but holy crap. And then I burned my hand.

Curranty.

The whole thing ended in a twist? I know, I’m annoyed too. Luckily, the jam is delicious. And I’d had four beers for breakfast so I was in a good mood despite all the failing and French people yelling and the injuries so I totally didn’t even cry. Success? We don’t measure it with a very high bar around here.

Strawberry Jam with Red Currants

(Makes 8 to 10 jars.)

  • 5 cups crushed strawberries
  • 2 cups red currant juice
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 7 cups sugar
  • 1 packet of Bernardin Original Pectin

Prepare your jars.

Combine strawberries and red currant juice in a large pan. Squish in your lemon juice. Add pectin and stir until dissolved. Bring to an aggressive, bubbly boil, and add sugar, stirring until dissolved. Bring back up to a rolling boil, and then set the timer for one minute, and stir your aggressive pot of molten strawberries while they boil furiously. Ladle into your prepared jars, and process as usual.

If, when pulling the jars out of the boiling water so you can put your jam into them, one splashes you, COOKING YOUR GODDAMN HAND, then feel free to shout swears as loud as you want, regardless of how many French men there are on your deck. They probably can’t hear you anyway, and if they can, whatever. THEY SPEAK FRENCH.

Oh – remember how I wasn’t sure if the raspberry jam was going to set? It did. Loosely, but it totally worked, so I am triumphant. So, I guess this concludes my series on canning. I made some scones though, and I’d like to tell you all about them – they’re the Starbucks vanilla bean scones, but better. They go great with either jam. You’ll love them, I promise. Here’s a sneak preview:

Vanilla scones with jam.

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