Small Jars of Love
Updated: Mar 18
Created from strawberries grown on small farms in southern Minas Gerais, this intense red jam stands out; not only is it made from luscious fruit pulp, it also contains whole fruit! Playfully gooey, it spreads easily on fresh bread, toast and white cheese. It is a perfect match for natural yogurt and makes panna cotta fit for the gods. It is a favorite of children of all ages.
Ingredients: strawberries, sugar, lemon juice
Fresh bread, toast, white cheese, natural yogurt, silky panna cotta
Each and every day was the same routine. Year after year since I started school until I was 12 or 13… I didn’t do mornings. But Mom always enrolled me in early classes! So after dragging my feet (literally) to the kitchen, I would slowly, lazily swallow tiny squares of bread filled with strawberry jam. As a child, I said this was forced feeding, but, yes, now I can say it was caring love in the s
hape of bread and jam squares waiting for me every single morning.
Then I grew up, got married, and – lucky me! – my man could grow strawberries and would make homemade jam for me whenever I wanted, which, yes, meant every week. Again, I can, I can say love, expressed through homemade fruit spread, filled my life with color and flavor.
I didn’t have children but I have nieces and one of them, Eloísa, is mad about.. guess what… strawberry jam. And because I am the dutiful aunt, every month I send her plenty of jars of sticky jam to eat with bread, pancakes and muffins. Yes, yes, yes, love and devotion in the form of food indeed.
Oh, by the way, my husband and I divorced. But only after I learned his secret recipe!
I am fortunate to live in the state of Minas Gerais, where, in Brazil, the majority of this delicate, subtropical fruit is grown. Strawberries are farmed in protected areas in the southern region of the state on small properties and are available almost all year long.