Summer is a time of great things. Floating in a pool under stars at night, shrimp rolled up with avocado and purple onions from the taco truck, the sound of crickets, the hum of that ceiling fan.
Summer is sweat, fruit and cicadas.
While cooler weather is a blissful relief after 3+ months of scorching South-Texas style heat; I still revel in the pink skies of 9 pm and the heat of the fruits I pick from the hill country orchards, acidic peach fuzz shalling my hands.
Soon enough I’ll be pulling on yoga pants and turning off the ceiling fan in favor of snuggle time with my microfleece comforter. So I’ll share with you one of my favorite summer recipes, which is so simple, it should really be either mandatory, or compulsory, or on a pre-requisite bucket list for Summer Shit To Do.
Jack Daniels Strawberry Jam.
A quart of really good strawberries, cut up into pieces.
These go into a saucepan, and you’ll bring them, along with a good friend of a cup of sugar, to a boil.
I’d spend about 10 – 15 minutes with these guys. The longer they mascerate and break down, the deeper the flavor and the thicker the jam. Also, get yourself a ripe lemon, and add the juice from it about halfway through. This helps for the short-term preserving.
Since this is fridge-jam, you won’t be setting it on your shelf until February. You’ll be spooning it over your banana bread tomorrow morning, licking it off the ice cream spoon tonight, and generally whoring it up with this bit of awesomeness.
Once the jam is thickened, I add in the Jack Daniels. You add what you like, but JD has an especially nice kick of just the right sassiness for ripe strawberries. Rum and mint and banana are all good friends, and JD seems to have its own special relationship with strawberries. I add about 2 shots at this point … sometimes I close my eyes when I pour.
From here, its done, really. Stir it up. Pour it in your canning jars. Let it cool on the counter top that night and stick it in the fridgie after that. Eat it within the month (like it’d stay around any longer??) and you’ve just created/lived/breathed in a vital summer memory.
**Author note: Unlike many happy-moment-of-domesticity posts I’ve been seeing lately, this one isn’t photographed in the sunny alcove of a Martha Stewart kitchen. Nope. I did this one at night, when the heat was cooler, when the JD-pourin’ was right. By the company of the cicadas.