Sunday, 13 July 2014

Kitchen Notes In Soft Fruit Season

There were strawberries from the field (and the supermarket).


And there was rhubarb from the garden.


And so there was strawberry and rhubarb jam.


In the rare event that I grow anything edible, it cannot be lost in a mere crumble or pie. It must be jammed, bottled or canned, so that I can gloat for as long as possible.


And, actually, this is a pretty fantastic flavour combination, not too sweet, not too tart.

There were two wrinkled peaches in the fruit bowl. Not so much on the turn as fully flipped. 


With strawberries, they formed the basis of a simple, delicious summer crumble. 


John ate his with cream, I had mine with fat free vanilla yogurt. I really wanted vanilla ice cream but I'm on a diet. It was still lush, though.


And then there was some basil in a jug, also on the kitchen windowsill.


I'd always wanted to try strawberry and basil jam, and so I did. Just a small amount, enough for two small jars, as I wasn't sure if I'd like it.


I like it a lot. It has a faintly anise flavour, a little grassy, if that makes sense. John and the kids are less enamoured, but I think it's a more grown-up version of strawberry jam. Also, the thought of strawberries and basil - two flavours that are so evocatively summery - together, pleases me no end. The only thing I don't like about it the way the leaves go in the jam; a bit brown and weathered, and you want to pick them out. Next time I might try and make a kind of basil bouquet garnis or something similar, so that I can infuse the fruit with the herby flavour but not include the leaves in the bottling process. Has anyone else experience of making strawberry and basil jam?

So that is what you can make throughout the week in soft fruits season, with a load of strawberries and whatever you can find languishing in the fruit bowl or on the kitchen windowsill.

Summer's great, isn't it?

42 comments:

  1. No experience of making this but always willing to be your taster if you do source a recipe.....*big smile*...!

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  2. I love the idea of basil and strawberries together. I think it must taste great. I think a bouquet garni is an excellent idea, actually. Then you will have the flavor without the discolored basil bits.

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  3. Really inspirational - I've never tried strawberry and rhubarb or strawberry and basil jam but I want to now! Good idea about the bouquet garni and the crumble looks delicious. Looking at past photos, you really don't look as if you need to diet! x

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    1. You're too kind! But I couldn't do up my jeans, you see...

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  4. Hi there dear Gillian. It looks like you like the strawberry basil thr most. I like them all.

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  5. Hi Gillian !
    Personally, I'm not fond of rhubarb... On the other hand, that crumble could seduce me ;-), especially with ice cream... Yummy...

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  6. Mmmmmmmmmm .....you are a domestic goddess!
    Strawberry and rhubarb jam sounds divine and ooooooh that crumble ..... YuM
    love Jooles x x x

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  7. You can keep the grown up strawberry jam just for the grown ups then!!! xx

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  8. Mmm, you're right, summer is great. Strawberries and rhubarb are a wonderful combination, one I've only recently discovered, but really good. Strawberries and gooseberries works too, surprisingly. I did a diet for four days last week, but I'm back on food now, yay. Blackcurrant and raspberry crumble for tea yesterday. Hope you have a good week Gillian. CJ xx

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  9. Strawberry and rhubarb jam sounds wonderful and that crumble looks good too - yummy!! xx

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  10. Love rhubarb and strawberry jam. The crumble looks delicious, so must try that combination. Well down with all your hard work in the kitchen. Take care.

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  11. We are in the food zone too - gooseberries, rhubarb, raspberries, tayberries, french beans, broad beans, courgetttes just lovely summer food. Great crumble combo . Jo x

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  12. Pops and I are off fruit picking at our local pick your own this week to make jammy gifts for teachers. I'm totally nicking your cream tea gift from last year. I thought it was inspired and I have a lot of nursery staff to thank. I like the sound of strawberry and rhubarb.
    Leanne xx

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  13. Strawberry and rhubarb is a very popular and common jam in Switzerland! :)

    Fun to try different things, I can well imagine strawberry and basil - and you do put pepper on your strawberries to bring out the flavour, right?!

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    1. No! Oh dear, I didn't know you were supposed to do that! Next time...

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  14. That strawberry and basil jam sounds really good, I like interesting combinations. I once ate garlic ice cream - it was absolutely delicious would you believe.

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  15. We're loving summer's soft fruits too. We've had strawberries from my father-in-law's allotment, some of which my husband has made into strawberry sorbet and I think very soon we'll have gooseberries. I'm looking forward to gooseberry and blackberry crumble--yumm! x

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  16. I'm staying away from the subject of strawberry jam for a while! But I'm impressed with the low-fat yogurt choice. My willpower is appalling... go you!
    Sarah x

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  17. Looks really yummy although I cannot imagine the taste!!!! Have a fab week!!!
    Love
    AMarie xxx

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  18. Every looks totally YUM!
    Margaret P

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  19. oh everything looks scrummy! I really must harvest my rhubarb x

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  20. ooh strawberry and basil sounds good. Not flavours I've considered putting together before, but I think they'd go quite nicely. Something new to try :)

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  21. I love strawberry and basil together! Your strawberry and rhubarb jam looks so good and summery. I am loving strawberries in salads this summer!

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  22. I do have to try making jam. My husband did it several years ago, but it seemed too time intensive at the time for me. Now I think it is probably like most things in the kitchen - there is this stigma about making them from scratch, but when you actually do it, it is not that hard. (like making your own bread or pasta dough)

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  23. This is a delicious post Gillian, and my mouth is watering; strawberry and rhubarb together are yum, strawberry and basil I haven't tried but it does sound very interesting. Your crumble, or should I say, what's left of it, looks wonderful and you have photographed everything so beautifully, as usual. Enjoy! xoJoy

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  24. Summer is indeed perfect!! And your jam sounds divine... though I've never had rhubarb! I hope the rest of your week is phenomenal!
    Tammy xx

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  25. You have been busy! I've only made jam once and that was years ago. I think it's great you're making yours and trying new flavor combinations.

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  26. Yum, I love the combination of rhubarb and strawberry - my favourite recipe is a cobbler from BBC Good Food mag. I'm all out of strawberry jam so should really make some more - not sure about the basil though! x

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  27. Oooh strawberry and basil sounds lovely! Bee xx

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  28. You have been busy, strawberry & rhubarb are one of my favourite combinations. I recall tasting a strawberry & basil cheesecake when tasting wedding menus a fair few years back, it was a combination that I didn't like.

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  29. I have tried to jam,. but fail each and every time!

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  30. Mmm, love jam and jam-making! I like combining ingredient too, my favourite is strawberry and rose - tastes like Turkish Delight! xxx

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  31. Gorgeous post! My grandma and I used to make strawberry-rhubarb jam, it is my favourite for the memories! And it's time for some peach cobbler, methinks...love the idea of the basil in the strawb jam, I think I'll give it a whirl (what if you whizzed up some of the basil with some of the strawberries, or just strained it to make jelly? Would the flavour survive? Hmmm...). Chrissie x

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  32. I love making things with strawberries and experimenting with other flavours to combine. Well done on all your makes.

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  33. love jam making. strawberry and rhubarb is my favorite jam. your crumble looks delicious.
    have a nice week,
    regina

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  34. I would love that crumble! I never made jam probably because a I've never grown fruit. Perhaps one for the retirement days. Xx

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  35. I was reminded reading some of these that there is a tradition here that you don't harvest any rhubarb after June 24th (St. John, midsummer), to give the plant a rest for next year - it's considered a strictly spring fruit :)

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    1. I had no idea! I was not aware of that tradition. Oh well, hopefully my little rhubarb plant will forgive me. I like to think of it as a summer fruit too.

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  36. July is not a month for restraint here with lots of birthdays and celebrations. I've just tried making some jam, strawberry, we'll see how it goes I'm not expecting greatness, it looks a bit runny. Those combinations sound good ideas for when I've cracked it!!x

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  37. oh man. I so badly wish you could 3d print that food right into my kitchen. Rhubarb, strawberries, crumbles. YUM.

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