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Food and Drink

Preserves without preservation

You can make this strawberry jam with three ingredients in 20 minutes

BELLOWS FALLS—Your grandmother probably stood over a hot stove for hours stirring jams and canning them in large water baths, in a house full of steam and lovely aromas. She was likely proud of her labors but had an aching back as well!

I still love the ritual of making a batch of jam, canning it, and tucking it away for later in the year. There is something satisfying about that lovely row of jewels lined up in the pantry.

However, even though the will is there, we often don’t have the time to devote to the whole process, and it does take a full morning or afternoon of work, not counting picking the fruit!

But you don’t have to make dozens of jars of jam for a year’s use; you can make a little batch that will cook in the time it takes you to get the rest of breakfast together.

Stored in the refrigerator, it will keep for several weeks, but you will probably use it up beforehand.

The easiest way to preserve the harvest is to freeze the fresh berries flat on a cookie sheet, and then place them in containers or zipper-top storage bags to freeze for use later in the year.

This way you can take out what you need and they won’t stick together. You can even use them to make a quick, small batch of jam come some cold morning in January.

This technique uses just three ingredients and 20 minutes or so of your time.

Quick refrigerator strawberry jam

When you are making jam without added pectin, always include a few that are not quite ripe. Strawberries with some green on them still have more natural pectin. Another old-time trick is to chop up some apple (firm ones such as Granny Smith) and add it to the cooking to introduce more pectin to the mix.

Chop by hand, or gently pulse in the food processor:

¶1 quart lovely local strawberries.

Place in a saucepan, and add:

¶{1/2} cup white sugar

Over medium high heat, bring to a hard boil, then turn down to a simmer and continue to cook for 15 minutes or so. Remove from heat and stir in:

¶The juice and zest of one lemon.

The jam will continue to thicken as it cools. Place in jars of choice and store in the refrigerator for up to three weeks, or freeze what you are not going to use immediately.

If you like, you can add other ingredients to the jam. Is your rhubarb ready? Chop up some and throw it in to cook with the berries.

You can also add herbs such as thyme and mint that work well with the flavor of strawberries.

What do you think? Leave us a comment

Editor’s note: Our terms of service require you to use your real names. We will remove anonymous or pseudonymous comments that come to our attention. We rely on our readers’ personal integrity to stand behind what they say; please do not write anything to someone that you wouldn’t say to his or her face without your needing to wear a ski mask while saying it. Thanks for doing your part to make your responses forceful, thoughtful, provocative, and civil. We also consider your comments for the letters column in the print newspaper.

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Peter Ford
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Peter Ford (Dallas) says...

Nailed it - Thank you.

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TB Smith
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TB Smith (Ba, Oklahoma, US) says...

The divisiveness brought on by this shamefully poor excuse for a president has been once again, borne out by this article, and the responses to it .. his most devoted followers are the most gullible and easily swayed sheeple since the \"Kool-Aid party in Jonestown\" ... those who stand up the most fervently to this dictator \"wanabe\", will , inthe end, see him and the fellow purveyors of his garbage rhetoric like FOX News, Alex Jones, Breitbart, etc., crumble and be dumped like stale crackers (pardon the pun) .. we must impeach this tyrant before too much damage is done, either from within or outside our borders.

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Ruby Bode
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Ruby Bode (Westminster, Vermont, US) says...

So it’s OK that access to outlets that simply recognize Trump as President is indeed being shut down? But isn’t that exactly what this editorial is against? Should outlets that cheered on Obama’s wars and love of Wall St have likewise been shut down? Only John Birch Society–inspired screeds against Trump indicate the “legitimate” press?

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Ruby Bode
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Ruby Bode (Westminster, Vermont, US) says...

TB Smith’s comment in apparent support of the us-vs-them tone of this editorial illustrates why so many people distrust so much of the press (although, again, it appears to be only pro-Trump and anti-imperialist outlets that are actually being shut down): They are promulgating hysterical claims about fascism, Russians, and “crackers” not in the interest of the people, but wholly on behalf of the neoliberal/neoconservative program of Reagan, Clinton, Bush, and Obama to deny Trump the Presidency and even remove him from office – not democratically, but by coup if necessary. That makes the press rather anti-democratic and, indeed, against the people.

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Amelia Stone
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Amelia Stone (E Dummerston, Vermont, US) says...

Kudos to the Boston Globe for encouraging newspapers across the country to remind us all of the value of a free press, and to the Commons for hearing that call. The NYTimes article, A Free Press Needs You, concludes with the following: \"If you haven’t already, please subscribe to your local papers. Praise them when you think they’ve done a good job and criticize them when you think they could do better. We’re all in this together.\" Today I plan to subscribe.

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Bev Matias
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Bev Matias (Connecticut, US) says...

Thank you for your efforts to disseminate the news of the day and resist the hate-filled and deceitful rhetoric of this administration. I cannot believe, still, in this country that it is necessary for the press and regular citizens to defend themselves. Only one quarter or less of the citizens believe a word he says yet you are forced to defend yourselves because his speech is so incediary. The press is now officially our last line of defense.

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Janet
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Janet (Venice, Florida, US) says...

You nailed it perfectly.

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Originally published in The Commons issue #462 (Wednesday, June 6, 2018). This story appeared on page B2.

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