You should make the following recipe posthaste because it’s both dead good and dead easy.
Strawberry Balsamic Jam
Mix together 4 cups of cut-up strawberries, 1-2 cups of sugar, and 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until it comes to 220 degrees, until it looks jammy, or until you chicken out and pull it off the heat because it’s popping at you when you stir it, whichever comes first. Serve it in small bowls with little spoons to call attention to the fact that you made it in your kitchen at home with your own two hands.
The jam I made this morning took less than 40 minutes from washing strawberries to putting jam in bowls. That tells you something about my sweet strawberry chopping skills (I didn’t really chop them, I instead took the potato masher to them once they started cooking and got soft,) and about my inexact strawberry washing skills (c’mon, they’re going to boil their little guts out. Let’s just rinse the big chunks off and move along.)
It was a relief that the jam recipe was easy, because I was concurrently focusing on the making of bagels. In my kitchen at home with my own two hands. When I tell you that the bagels were tremendously well received, you must remember that competition is not fierce: it’s Germany, for chrissakes. Not a lot of bagel-makers in these parts. They’re great fun to make: the recipe is straightforward and the texture is really perfect, and if you can time it so that your brunch guests walk through the door as you’re dropping the last of the hand-formed bagels into their boiling water bath you will be revered as a Mastress of your Domain. If you can then avoid using a too-short spoon to stir the jam, which splatters onto your hand and causes you to blurt out expletives in front of the youngest of the brunch guests (a 3 year old who is fascinated by anything in English and especially likely to remember anything said in a high-pitched squeal,) well, the reverence is deserved.
I used the 12-bagel recipe from the King Arthur Flour website, which is an absolute treasure trove of tips. It is moderated during U.S. business hours by a live person(!) who answers questions with astonishing patience. I wonder if she’s allowed to tell bakers that their problem is that they used too much flour? Maybe she can only hint around: ‘Try more liquid!’ or ‘Measuring by weight might help!’ I was jealous of her job for about two seconds before I realized that none of her answers were meant sarcastically (even though I still read ‘…you JACKASS!’ into the end of each response.)
The website has a feature on its newer recipes that allows you to choose to view the ingredients list in volume, ounces, or grams. While I understand that the power of artificial intelligence must be harnessed before it destroys us all, in the meantime there’s no reason that it shouldn’t be used to convert cups to grams at the touch of a button. Let’s make it a movement, shall we?