Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Mmmmm........Strawberry Jam!!!

I've been wanting to share with you my experience this year with making homemade strawberry jam! I just made it a few weeks ago, but I bought my strawberries way back in June when they were in season. I bought them fresh at a little farm's road side stand. I bought the strawberries that were one day old because they were three dollars cheaper per flat. They were refrigerated and they looked perfect to me.
The day I bought my strawberries was a hectic one! This could not have been a worse time to try to make strawberry jam. On this particular day I had workmen coming over to install our new furnace, heat pump and water heater. I also had to take Bailey to her first haircut and Hayden had a friend spend the night. I decided to freeze the berries for another time.
My husband suggested just putting the whole box in the freezer as is, which of course I did because it sounded great and saved me so much time! Out of sight, out of mind!Well.......... this did not work out so well. By the time I was ready to make my jam (not until September) when I defrosted them, they were just a bowl of muck with stems. It was a very big job to remove the stems from mushy strawberries and I would not recommend doing it this way!
These are my notes from previous jam making experiences, click on it to enlarge it to read my notes. I like to critique things after I do them so I don't repeat the same mistakes and I always try to find ways to streamline and improve the process. After I steamed and washed my berries I mashed them down to a fine pulp.
I measured out two cups of the fresh crushed berries.
To this I added four cups of sugar! Yikes, that's a lot sugar, but that is also why jam is so good and why we must only have it in moderation! :0)
You work in the sugar, it is kind of hard at first.

Then it starts blending and gets smoother and easier.
Mmmmm.....perfect! I let the sugar strawberry mix stand for ten minutes.
Next it's time for the pectin. I prefer Sure Jell. It works best for me.
I like to make freezer jam and I use the recipe from the box. I have saved the recipe for several years and made notes all over it.
You simply measure out 3/4 cup of water. Notice the cute reproduction vintage measuring cup.....50 cents at a garage sale!!!
You put the water in a sauce pan and slowly add the pectin and mix it until it is dissolved.

Then you bring the mixture to a boil for one minute, stirring constantly. Then you add the cooked pectin to the prepared strawberries and stir it in until you no longer feel the graininess of the sugar. I didn't take pictures of the next step because, frankly, I had no extra hands! I used a wide mouth funnel and poured it into my prepared jars. I filled each jar up to one-half inch from the top. I then put the lids on and let them sit for 24 hours.
That's it! Now they are ready to go into the freezer and be used throughout the year or given as gifts. In the past when all four boys lived at home we went through one quart a month, but we don't use that much any more, so I didn't make such a big batch. With the leftover strawberries I made wonderful ice cream sauce and froze it too. It is just mashed strawberries with lots of sugar. It is so good on vanilla ice cream!
Oh, my goodness, there is nothing like fresh strawberry jam on toast! I thank the Lord for all his creation and especially for strawberries!

"I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in Me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without Me ye can do nothing." John 15:5

Blessings, Sharon


Michelle said...

I never knew it was so easy! I had to chuckle 'cause as I was sitting here reading, I was thinking to myself, "That's it?" and that's exactly what you wrote! LOL I am so making freezer jam next year...my family LOVES it!

Have a great day, Sharon!

Mrs.Ruiz said...

Looks good!!

Kathi said...

Sharon, YOur jam looks wonderful. It's great that you made the strawberries fit into your schedule rather than being ruled by them. Way to go!! Have a happy Tuesday. I work a half day today! I love you, Kath

Elena said...

The jam looks yummy! I made grape jelly like that. We have a grapevine and I didn't have time to make the jam when the grapes were ripe. So, I froze them and made the jelly a month later. It tasted great! I'm doing it again this year. I did take the grapes off the stem and washed them before I froze them:)

Jocelyn said...

I knew it was easy, my Mom did it every year, but somehow when it happens in my kitchen, easy turns into hard and messy!
Next year I am going to definitly give it a whirl.
Then hopefully I will have mastered the art of breadmaking !

Laura said...

We had fruit trees growing up and we always had home made plum and peach jam. It is so much better than store bought! Yum! It almost makes me want to do this. Almost. :-)

Lille meg said...

I love strawberry jam! Before I read what you wrote, I thought you had fresh strawberries now.
In Norway we don't have sure jell, I have never heard of it, but we have other sorts of pectin.
Thank you for sharing this post!

southerninspiration said...

You obviously ARE a Barnabus.....a great encourager! I love that you are spending time with those young women! Good for you,I know they are appreciative!

Karol said...

Very nice tutorial Sharon!!! Love that strawberry freezer jam right?? And love this beautiful Oregon rainy day toooooooooo.....

Jan Parrish said...

Great job. Looks delicious. I'm glad you are fighting famine. :)

Ruthie said...

Oh looks so yummy!!! A real satisfaction for you, I'm sure, to make that for your family.

About the white dog! Amazing! You should come back to my blog and read the comment after yours - another person who had an experience with a white dog!
Whew! I think God certainly does use something like this to protect His children!

(I love the post below - especially about the Ruthie B's shop!)
Hugs. Ruthie

littleladyboutique said...

Sharon...it looks so yummy! :):):)

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