Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Strawberry Jam

When I was going to school and bringing my lunch I often brought a peanut butter and crabapple jelly sandwich. Our landlord, every year, gave us several jars of the stuff and I liked it. My mom went through a phase where she took a personal sabbatical and stayed home while I was in junior high so even something so small as free jelly was one less expense she had to worry about.

While my mother canned many, many, things one of the things I have no memory of her making was jam or jelly. She did pickles. She did green beans. She did spaghetti sauce. But no sweets, no jam or jelly.

With our PYO strawberries (and an assist by organic strawberries from the farmers market because I didn't QUITE have enough) I was able to make strawberry jam.

I had intended to make it with pectin as the Ball recipe gave but found out at 11pm at night that I didn't have lemon juice which was apparently vital to the process. So my choice was to dump the entire vat or find a recipe that didn't deal with pectin. I went with the alternate recipe and so my strawberry jam is VERY sweet, took a LONG time to boil down and tastes just like homemade. Literally.

I was able to can 9 8oz jars of it and have put it away in the "cold cellar" of my basement storage area under the stairs. It's thick, clumpy and delicious.

I'm debating now if I should make more from a different berry, say raspberry when the PYO has those, if I should get some cherries from the farmers market or possibly be REALLY brave and hold out for peaches later this summer. Or scrap it and say "I have 9" and be done with it.

Luckily it's not a decision I need to make at this moment but I have to tell you, that feeling of accomplishment is something I don't think I can beat any time soon.


Wendy said...

Awesome! Congrats on your first foray into making jam! And it was easy, wasn't it? :)

If you like jam and jelly, I would say do more, because your homemade stuff is infinitely better than anything you can get from the grocery store ... and anything you can do for yourself is always going to be better than buying ;).

Home canned spiced peaches (not jelly, but sliced peaches) are to die for! Can't get anything like that from the grocery! Peaches don't grow well here in Maine, but when I can find them, I always put some up for winter :).

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