Strawberry Preserves w/ Balsamic Vinegar & Black Pepper

recipe from Saving the Season

– 2½ lbs strawberries ($5 @ Santa Monica 3rd St FM)
– 2 cups sugar
– 1 tbsp lemon juice
– 1/8 tsp black pepper
– 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

PRICING/QUALITY. I don’t understand how one vendor can have 3 lbs of strawberries for $5 then the one across the aisle will have the same for $14. There are no samples or signs touting this one’s superiority so what gives? I’ve been burned by strawberries 3 times now. The first 2 came from the Playa Vista FM in the form of soft, moldy berries hidden at the bottom of the baskets. The third time at the Santa Monica 3rd St FM, I feel like I examined every single berry in my batch but still found a few brown softies on the bottom once I arrived home. Those experiences plus this investigative reporting by NBC LA has made me so suspicious of the vendors that now I carefully examine the price and quality of every piece of produce before purchasing. It’s tiring! But I suppose that’s because I’m lazily accustomed to the cheaper unblemished testtube food found in supermarkets.

SWEETNESS. I enjoyed this recipe loads more than the Strawberry & Lemon Preserves. The balsamic and pepper really tempered the sweetness of the sugar and lemon juice and gave the whole shebang so much more depth.

My fave is peanut butter toast with a smear of preserves. On hot biscuits ain’t bad either.

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