Our back to school checklist went something like this: overpriced girls clothes from Justice (because that's where all the cool girls shop); tennis shoes that could not have an ounce of pink, but had to be turquoise or purple (wow, that was fun); a haircut that absolutely had to include the new feather trend; a monogrammed backpack from Pottery Barn with a matching binder; $100 in school supplies; and last but not least, let's not forget that lovely check we wrote the school for even more school supplies. Because the ones we already bought just weren't enough! Wow...back to school will totally break you. Doesn't matter how long you plan for it. It will get you every time.
Thank God for peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. There is a reason why they are so popular, right? Moms love them because they're easy, they're cheap, and they don't require an ice pack. Kids love them because they're delicious and let's face it....all the cool kids are eating them!
For Back to School week at I Heart Cooking Clubs I decided on Jamie's Strawberry Jam, perfect for peanut butter and jelly (jam) sandwiches. Jamie's strawberry jam includes one whole vanilla bean, giving it quite a bit of vanilla flavor. I added a pinch of salt to bring out the sweetness and a squeeze of lemon just because I felt it needed some brightness. This recipe makes a lot of jam and is perfect for so many things.
Fresh Strawberry & Vanilla Jam
Adapted from Food Network/Jamie Oliver
Seeds of 1 vanilla pod
10 1/2 ounces (300 grams) sugar
2.2 pounds (1 kilogram) strawberries, washed & hulled
1-2 tablespoons lemon juice
dash of salt
Run your knife down the vanilla pod and scrape out the seeds. Add with the pod to the washed and hulled strawberries and sugar. Add lemon juice (to taste) and a dash of salt. Mush it up a bit with a whisk or pastry cutter, leaving some large chunks. Put on a medium heat to bring to a gentle simmer and leave to cook for about 4 minutes. Using a ladle remove the scum from the top and leave to cool. Place in sterilized jars and store in the refrigerator.
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