Saturday, July 30, 2011

Can it

When the temperature rises in Toronto, fashion rules melt faster than ice cubes; now is the time when our least favorite pants loose half their length at the mercy of dull scissors, and bathing suit tops become a perfectly acceptable daily option, even in the heart of downtown. With all this heat, the cozy layers and thick knits of fall have been far from my mind. Instead, I've been focusing on something, well, a little more... what's the right word?

I'm somehow turning into a housewife.

The reality of this strange personality development became all too clear when I noticed the only things on my birthday list this year were wine glasses, a floral armchair, and a swiffer wet jet. I'm nesting. And so it only makes sense that a few weeks ago, on one of the hottest days of the year, my best friend and I chose not to go out to the beach or the park, but to stay inside slaving over multiple boiling, spewing pots.

That's right. We canned.

After eight hours of work, four trips to the store, and numerous excruciating burns, we had zesty salsa, sweet corn relish, and my personal favorite, strawberry jam.

In case you're feeling like you too need a little housewife time in your life, here's our foolproof recipe for a little bit of canned sweetness that will last right through the next three seasons, unlike your new Chanel sandals.

You'll Need:

4 cups of sugar (we used plain white sugar)
4 cups mashed strawberry (aka. 2 pounds)
1/4 cup of lemon juice

*This will make about two small jars of jam. If you want to make more (which, let's face it, you do) multiply the recipe accordingly, always keeping equal parts sugar and berries.

In a saucepan over medium heat, stir together the three ingredients until the sugar is dissolved. Bring the mixture to a boil and stir constantly until the texture thickens and begins to resemble jelly (this can take a LONG time so be patient and wary of boiling blobs of strawberry landing on your feet). Transfer the jam to sterile jars (all pieces of the jar must be boiled for a minute immediately before) and leave about half an inch of space at the top. Put on the lid tightly and submerge your jars in a hot water bath for about 25 minutes to seal them, and tada! Instant housewife!

At some point the temperature will become reasonable and we can all start dreaming of our favorite scarves, but until then, happy canning!

Between Shoe and I

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