May 26, 2017 by Amanda Logon
The following recipe has been kindly contributed by Amanda Logan , who runs the amazing blog at http://mygoodnesskitchen.com/
Sweetness and heat combine in this unusual jam creation. With plump strawberries and fresh chilli, my Completely Delicious Strawberry Chilli Jam brings a little something special to your breakfast toast or something sweet and spicy to savoury dishes.
“My wish for you is that you continue to be who and how you are, to astonish a mean world with your acts of kindness. Continue to allow humour to continue to lighten the burden of your tender heart,” (Maya Angelou).
My sister-in-law once told me that taking care of myself would make me a better mother. At the time, I was so deep in nappies and drunk on baby love and sleepless nights that I couldn’t wrap my brain around the concept that it was OK, necessary even, to take time out for myself. It’s taken me a few years, but I get her point now. The single biggest thing I have come to realise as a mother – wait, scrap that – the biggest thing I have come to realise as a grown up human girl is that taking care of myself is simply being kind to myself. I think there is a school bully living in each of us whose purpose is to make us feel we aren’t enough; that we always need to do more…and it’s nonsense.
There is no more. There is just you doing the best you can in that moment. Don’t get me wrong, it might be a particularly crappy moment but it’s just a moment. There’ll be others, better ones even. Worse ones too. Listening to the bully only creates a world of meanness within that is far more damaging than any outside world could inflict. But that voice is hard to ignore, I know. And so I am working to turn down the volume because it doesn’t serve me and it certainly doesn’t serve my family.
I had a drama teacher who told me to practice talking to myself as though I was talking to my own child. What would I say if my child came to me in tears because they thought they would never be enough? Would I let them marinate in self-hate? No. I would wipe away the tears, look at them steadily and tell them that in my eyes, they will always be enough. That my belief in them will carry them forward until they find that belief within themselves.
And so I practice…practice kindness towards myself so that I can offer genuine, heartfelt kindness to others. That Maya Angelou was a clever lady. And now, to the kitchen.
I’ll be brief. This jam is completely delicious. I didn’t call it completely delicious strawberry chilli jam on a whim; this gorgeously thick, sweet and spicy concoction is just….yum. I have been thinking on this recipe for a long time and I had thought I would make a quick and healthy chia version but when I saw the strawberries and the chillies appear at our markets I did a back flip. To make the most of the two flavours I had to let them meet, simmer and grow gorgeous together. Now, I am not a jam maker person, in fact I am a jam virgin. But I did the research and while some experts add the sugar to the strawberries and let it sit, sometimes overnight, others swear by adding the sugar to semi-cooked fruit while on the stove. I did what any self-respecting fence sitter would do, I did both. And it worked. Beautifully.
My completely delicious strawberry chilli jam is an unusual flavour combination that tickles the taste buds in waves. First there is the sweet, familiar stickiness of summer strawberries followed by the heat from the chillies, which teases and fills your mouth briefly only to be soothed by the strawberries again. Perfect on toast, this jam also works beautifully on a mushroom or other savoury burger instead of traditional relish.
Or like me, enjoy straight from the jar. Enjoy.
With plump strawberries and fresh chilli, my Completely Delicious Strawberry Chilli Jam brings a little something special to your breakfast toast.
I have made this jam with frozen strawberries and it turned out wonderfully. Simply thaw the berries and use them, including the juice, as you would fresh berries. Simples.