A Red May: Strawberry Marmalade

Before we discuss red, May and jam, I want to tell you that Friday is M’s Birthday! Yay! I won’t tell you his age, except to say that the number is the answer to what is the meaning of life, the universe and everything. If you are inclined, you should wish him a happy day in the comments; it will embarrass him greatly, and that’s a lot of fun. He says his favorite hobby is picking on me, so this is quite fair.

I thought I would take part in Project Spectrum this year, which Lolly is running from May through November. The colors for May are red and orange. I tried knitting a red shawlette in some Madelinetosh Sock in Tart. I got this far and completely lost interest. I think I’ll make red socks instead. So that’s that.
Roses are Red WIP
But May was not a red washout, because the strawberries finally came into season here! We have had a very cold and wet spring for Northern California, so the strawberries are a bit late. But they were worth waiting for!

I decided to make two kinds of strawberry jam: strawberry marmalade* and balsamic strawberry jam#. The marmalade has oranges and orange peel (without the bitter pith) and the balsamic jam used balsamic vinegar in addition to lemon juice for the acid. Fresh out of the canner, the jars didn’t look very red.
Strawberry jam fresh from canner
So I took some up to my “photo studio” and tried to backlight them. Not very red.
Strawberry jam pyramid
Because I’m a scientist, I do experiments, so I put the backlight light source right behind the left jar in the middle row. I took the picture, even though I had come to the conclusion that jam is rather opaque in a jar.
Jam is pretty opaque.
You can see in the lighter jars, which are the marmalade, that I have a floating fruit issue. Since I’m not entering my jam in the county fair, I decided I can live with floating fruit, especially since I had done all the “tips” to keep floating fruit from happening. Anyway, my opaque jam photos prompted me to make some toast and to spread on the jams. Up front is the strawberry marmalade and in the back in the balsamic strawberry jam. At last they look red!
Strawberry jams on toast
Once I downloaded the photos, I decided that the I should have used a higher f-stop to get greater depth of field. If I had done that, the balsamic strawberry jam toast would also be in focus, and it might have liked that. But I had already eaten the toast and jam. It was delicious. So that is all.

* The Strawberry Marmalade recipe is from 175 best Jams, Jellies, Marmalades and Other Soft Spreads by Linda J. Amendt.

# The Balsamic Strawberry Jam is a variation on the standard strawberry jam recipe in Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving edited by Judi Kingry and Lauren Devine.

Happy Birthday, M!!

10 thoughts on “A Red May: Strawberry Marmalade”

  • You will recall what happened after they figured out the meaning of life, the universe and everything… Bigger computer… and the Vogons. This is why I think celebrating this birthday is simply irresponsible.

    PS if Vogons do show up, I’m grabbing my towel and I’m outa here. There is no way I’m listening to love poetry or getting blown out of an airlock.

  • To bad you lost interest in the shawl because the part you’ve made is beautiful!! But I guess the yarn will make some beautiful socks too 🙂
    The jam looks yummy. I think the Norwegian strawberries is the best, but they are not in season yet. Still early spring here 😉 So we just have some imported tasteless strawberries in the store 🙁

    Happy Birthday to M 😉

  • Happy 42nd, M!

    That tiny bit of shawl was wonderful, though. 🙂

    I have the strangest craving for strawberry jam on toast now…

  • Happy Birthday, M! Try to celebrate it as responsibly as possible. No one wants love poetry recitations.

    That jam looks delicious if not the red you wanted for the spectrum. Thanks for the photography tricks too.

  • Happy birthday M! The red yarn and the red jam both look yummy! The strawberries in our garden are out of control, but we are fighting the slugs for control. Thanks to some cheap beer, I think we are finally winning. 😉

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