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« Strawberry Honey Oatmeal Bars | Main | Sun Dried Tomato, Basil, & Brie Spread »

Strawberry Balsamic Jam

Strawberry Balsamic Jam

At the ripe age of twenty-three, I fear I'm becoming an old woman. It's a silly fear, I know. I'm not afraid of growing older (we all must go through it eventually), but I am afraid of skipping my thirties and forties and jumping straight into my sixties.

Over the last couple years, my habits have begun to betray me. I can't remember the last time I went out on a Friday night; and when I did, I was certain to be home before the strike of ten. My mother and I enjoy watching Hot in Cleveland together (and I find myself laughing louder and longer than her). I ask for kitchen appliances and dishware when the holidays roll around. I often wear vintage clothes and, to my dismay, more than once my students have loudly proclaimed I dress like an old lady (you have the same shoes as my grandmother!).

I suppose, in many ways, you could say I am already channeling the spirit of a seventy-five year old woman.

Strawberry Balsamic Jam

Maybe I wouldn't fear becoming an old woman if The Signs hadn't already arrived. As I sat down in the optometrist office last month, my eye doctor broke the news that my eyes were already getting cataracts. I have exactly three old lady veins—two in rather inconspicuous locations—but the last has the unfortunate position of running down the entire length of my nose (which my boyfriend so lovingly pointed out "looks bluer when I'm cold"). And, to spread the icing on the cake, I recently discovered I have laugh lines while tiredly looking at myself in the mirror.

I even talk like an old woman. Just the other night I caught myself telling my mother that I wished pants weren't so low cut and I hoped I could find a pair with a higher waist.

It's like a disease, I tell you. Old womanitis.

Strawberry Balsamic Jam

Despite my frivolous concerns towards aging, when I stumbled upon the quote above by Cassandra Clare, I did feel more at ease about myself. Beauty may fade, but cooking is forever. It's comforting to know that it doesn't matter whether my hair is gray or my hands are gnarled; I can make a mean chocolate chip cookie. In the end, I think that's what matters most. Food brings people together—it's a celebration of life and love.

When it comes down to it, I'd rather my legacy be lovely strawberry jam instead of a history of face lifts.

Strawberry Balsamic Jam

This strawberry jam is thick and sweet. Balsamic vinegar joins strawberries, lending a unique and enhancing flavor. The jam is thickened on the stove top until it reaches your desired consistency. This strawberry jam is perfect to spread on bread, crackers, or drizzle on top of ice cream.

One Year Ago: Poached Eggs in Tomato Sauce

Strawberry Balsamic Jam

1 pound (16 ounces) fresh or frozen strawberries, diced
3-4 tablespoons granulated sugar (adjust according to sweetness of the berries)
2+ tablespoons balsamic vinegar (to taste)

In a saucepan over medium heat, bring strawberries, sugar, and balsamic vinegar to a boil. Turn down the heat and simmer for 25-30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until strawberries have thickened into a jam.

To store, keep chilled in the refrigerator.

Reader Comments (29)

Hmmm I will definitely make this, the strawberries are on sale at my local supermarket this week so great timing!

For some reason I can't see the pictures anymore... The last post I could (can) see them was the banana bread. Is there anything I can do to make them appear again? The pictures are half the fun :D
03.21.2012 | Unregistered CommenterRose
Oh my, right now I have a box of strawberries in my fridge... You're tempting me! (as always!) I've laughted really loud with this post, I absolutely think as you do! I want my beloved to remember me because of my weaping-for-joy chocolate brownie cookies or my Vanilla bean pancakes <3
03.21.2012 | Unregistered CommenterMhina
i love this post i also turned 23 and i can identify completely. recently i have been seriously debating if im wasting my youth to cupcakes! you have a fantastic blog and i love seeing the posts scattered on my facebook newsfeed. to have such a great blog, i naturally thought you were older! and was quite shocked that you are my age. haha another person who thinks youre older than you are, great. i know the feeling!
03.21.2012 | Unregistered CommenterBakedTam
I have some strawberry balsamic vinegar(so good you could almost drink it!) and used a bit in my strawberry jam this year. It was wonderful. Balsamic and strawberries are a perfect pairing :)
03.21.2012 | Unregistered CommenterLouisa
This sounds absolutely delightful! I can not wait to try!
this made me laugh!

when i was in university my friends called me their prematurely middle aged friend - i enjoyed cooking and knitting and drinking tea. but hey, these tendencies have served me well in my late twenties now married with a house to care for and a husband to feed!

i think i need to make some jam this weekend!
03.21.2012 | Unregistered Commenterbrie.
I LOVE this post. The idea that when you're old and gnarly you can still make a mean chocolate chip cookie is one that will stay with me always, until I'm a gnarled old woman myself. Individual tastes are so fleeting, but memory of recipes lasts for a lifetime and can be handed down from generation to generation. I love that :-)
03.21.2012 | Unregistered Commenterthelittleloaf
Thanks for the great recipe. It sounds delicious! Can it be canned for long term storage?
03.21.2012 | Unregistered CommenterJeanna
Ha ha! Old womanitis! Love it! I'm making this stuff for sure. My husband loves jam, but we try to steer away from sugar. I guess I'd rather him have homemade than the best stuff he can get at the store. So, thank you in advance from my husband!
03.21.2012 | Unregistered CommenterLoretta
I wish I had strawberries in the house. This jam looks amazing.
...and I'd rather be known for my cooking [and intellect] over my beauty any day! Like many great things in life, we only get better with age!
03.21.2012 | Unregistered CommenterbrookeO
Great post, perfect balance of deliciousness and relatable hilarity. :) My 24th birthday is right around the corner and I've also noticed laugh lines on my face. Also, I think I have old lady hands. Good thing it doesn't matter what your hands look like, they'll still produce awesome baked goodies! Can't wait to make this jam! :)
03.21.2012 | Unregistered CommenterSonja
Rose--Try refreshing the page. The pictures are still up and present--perhaps your browser just isn't reading them?

Jeanna-- There's no reason it can't be canned for long term storage. When canning though, make sure you keep a sterile airtight seal!
03.21.2012 | Registered CommenterKristin Rosenau
I, too, felt old when I was young. In college and my later twenties I fit in reasonably well - dating, finding my first apt, honing in on a career, partying along with my friends. . . I never felt completely comfortable, though. I would prefer a long conversation over a cup of tea to a rowdy happy hour or practical shoes over sky high heels. I always said that I was born to be forty. Now that I am here I was right! I love every earned wrinkled, every new confidence, having a family and the satisfaction of having created my own life. Life keeps getting better with age - bring it on.

Just the little I know about you from reading your posts (which I love), leads me to believe the only old thing about you is your soul.
03.21.2012 | Unregistered CommenterMeg
I made this jam tonight with the sole purpose of, as you mentioned, putting it on ice cream.

Can I just say... I sat on my couch and scraped the sides of the empty bowl with my finger and groaned as I licked it off. Holy PIE, this is a good jam. I may faint when you post the recipe for the bars. UNF. <3
03.21.2012 | Unregistered CommenterLainey
I don't always comment on your blog, but I always read. I think you're my favourite un-published food blogger. That should be fixed. Your photos are spectacular. That jam looks great too.

I totally identify with old-womanitis. I'm 27, but my 17 year old high school students make me feel 67 every day. Apparently I have "old woman flip flops" because they have buckles on them. BUCKLES! And when I wore my TOMs to school, they all thought it was "so cute!"
03.21.2012 | Unregistered CommenterAmanda
Hahaha! this made me laugh out loud. You're wholesome not old!! :) Live and enjoy what you enjoy, that's all there is to it, don't worry about what makes you content, it's simply wonderful that you are! I love this recipe, I've just got to try it. Gorgeous photos as well :)
I love reading this post. Reminds me that women all through out the world are not all models and that one way or the other, not everyone I meet via the virtual world are not all covergirl models. Hurray! We are all normal. I am a decade older than you, and you will still be saying the same things when you hit my age. That means, we are all human, we are all normal and we deserve to be happy.
Cooking always brings out the best in us. Thanks for sharing this awesome post =)
03.22.2012 | Unregistered Commentermyfudo
Wow, the color of the jam is such an incredible ruby red and I love the addition of balsamic vinegar... I am featuring this post in today's Friday Food Fetish roundup (with a link-back and attribution), but please let me know if you have any objections. It's a pleasure following your creations…
03.22.2012 | Unregistered CommenterJavelin Warrior
Fantastic! This jam looks SO tasty, definitely need to make it when it's strawberry season where I live!
03.23.2012 | Unregistered Commentersara
I couldn't help but comment as well on this amazing post. I love the pictures and I am excited for when strawberry picking season arrives, I will be sure to return to this bookmarked recipe to give it a try. Also glad to know I am not the only one who struggles with the image that stares back at me in the mirror from time to time, but then I realize I wouldn't go backwards for nothing, only forwards. Thanks again for the good read.
03.23.2012 | Unregistered CommenterAlessandra
That was fun to read! And I am sooooooo glad I am not the only one out there, and I am elder than you by a couple of years. This jam has to necessarily be made by all of us in the bandwagon! I will, for sure. Love it...Thanks for the post... You're cool.
03.27.2012 | Unregistered CommenterPavithra
You are a genious! Made three batches of this tonight and it is amazing! The balsamic mellows with simmering and lends such a great complex zing to the jam. Your blog is beautiful and inspiring.

Having a hard time pinning from your sight however, any suggestions?
04.17.2012 | Unregistered CommenterJessica in WI
This looks delicious! I really wanted to pin the recipe to Pinterest, but the images don't appear. Is that on purpose?
04.18.2012 | Unregistered CommenterMandi
Mandi-- I've fixed the problem! You should be able to pin anything you choose!
04.20.2012 | Registered CommenterKristin Rosenau
Has anyone ever frozen this jam. I prefer freezing to canning.
06.1.2012 | Unregistered CommenterMelody
If I was to make a larger batch of this can I process it in a water bath to give it a shelf life of around a year? Would I need to add pectin?

08.6.2012 | Unregistered CommenterKate Rehmann
Kate-- You can absolutely use a water bath to can this jam (just make certain to follow the canning directions carefully to avoid any spoiling/contamination). You would not need to add pectin. Simply thicken the jam as much as you desire on the stovetop and you will not need pectin to thicken it up.
08.6.2012 | Registered CommenterKristin Rosenau
I'd like to try out this jam recipe for the strawberry bars. How long will the jam keep in the fridge? Will any sealed container be okay for storage? Thanks!
01.23.2013 | Unregistered CommenterMarissa Kubinski
Marissa--The jam will last 1-3 months in the refrigerator (about as long as any opened store bought jam). It can easily last 6 months to a year in the freezer, perhaps longer. If you properly can the jam, it can several years. I hope that helps!
01.23.2013 | Registered CommenterKristin Rosenau

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