Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Jamalamadingdong


The other day I was reading my friend Rene's great blog, Cottage and Vine where she did a post about making fresh strawberry preserves.  My son Bugs has been asking me to make some strawberry jam for the last several years and Rene's post inspired me to get crackin!

My mother always made several types of jam, including Strawberry Freezer Jam, each year, and it was a real treat for my kids whenever they had a sleepover to wake up to toast or english muffins with yummy strawberry jam slathered on top!  It has been a few years since I've made some, but the word on the street was that it was a very good year for strawberries, so I decided it was time to go pick a few!  

Strawberries, peaches, and grapes are just a few of the fruits grown that are often doused with herbicides and insecticides so I only buy organic varieties, which isn't easy in the rural area where I live.  But to my delight, many farmers told me that they didn't need to spray anything on this year's crop of strawberries and that was music to my ears!



I was supposed to go pick strawberries with my sister and niece on the day I hurt my back, so needless to say that didn't happen, but over the weekend I convinced Mr. Tide to take me for a short ride to one of our local Mennonite farms to see if we could find some.  Not only did we find strawberries (9 quarts to be exact) but we also came home with a truckload of flowers too!  So it was a very good day, even if I was made to walk very slowly or stay in the Durango by a certain handsome fellow!

Mr. Tide cut up all of the strawberries that evening and we've been munching on them morning noon and night ever since.  But today I wanted to get going on the jam so that the berries wouldn't over ripen, which makes for bad freezer jam!

If you've never made strawberry freezer jam, or any freezer jam for that matter, you really should, it's so easy and would be a great afternoon activity for you and your children if you still have little ones at home.  All you really need are some berries, a few Tablespoons of lemon juice, LOTS of sugar, some pectin ( I use Certo because it's what my mother and grandmother used), and some clean Ball Canning Jars and lids!



The recipe is even included in the box and it tells you how to make all sorts of jams and jellies...yum!



I like to use fresh lemon juice and I recently brought home that beautiful little glass juicer from my parent's house.  It worked like a champ after all of these years...and I just love the way it looks too!



I also used this lovely turquoise Pyrex bowl that belonged to my mother and my grandmother before her!  See what I mean about using lots of sugar?!  I think this really should be called strawberry hummingbird food, not strawberry freezer jam!



After a bit of berry mushing (done slowly so as not to re-injure my back), and lots of stirring, I now have 10 yummy jam filled jars!  Rene used much cuter labels than I did!  I bought these a few months ago knowing I would eventually be making jam, but her jar labels had a picture of her house on them...too cool!

Tomorrow, if I'm able to drive and Mr. Tide will let me, I plan to deliver a few of these jars filled with sweet strawberry goodness to some friends and neighbors!  Then when it's the dead of winter with not a strawberry in sight, they too can have a cup of tea and a biscuit with jam!

17 comments:

  1. Kat, have you noticed you have 365 followers, one for every day of the year?!

    It is a wonderful strawberry harvest this year, I have never known them so sweet! I might even try making jam - again....

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  2. You stinker...going out and bending over with a hurt back. You planned to pick strawberries and by golly you picked strawberries, right? Your images are so yummy and I am dying to try the freezer jam recipe that your mother always made. Your son must be ecstatic!

    BTW, your labels are very cute ;^)

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  3. Making jam is absolutely one of my favourite things to do, along with marmalade. I buy the giant tubs of Ontario cherries in july and make jars and jars of it. Our berries aren't ripe here yet in Ontario, but I am so looking forward to it, especially after seeing yours.

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  4. Your jam looks so yummy - I might have to give it a try. It will be another few weeks before the berries are ripe here though. It always seems like strawberries ripen just at the busiest time of the school year - sigh!

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  5. Does that Jam look yummy! Enjoy!

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  6. We use Certo, but usually the liquid, and my sister and I make many dozens of jars each year. Freezer Strawberry jam is the only kind her kids eat, and mine prefer it too. We have been know to run out in late winter and the kids have not been happy. We need to wait a bit longer here for berries, usually mid to end of June, but I can hardly wait, because yes we ran out again.

    Thanks for the organic tip. I'll keep that in mind.

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  7. Your back is out and you're putting up jam? You are amazing.

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  8. I have never heard of freezer jam. Sure looks good though. Take care of that back.

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  9. I always loved making Strawberry jam...it seems to come out better than any other jelly! It's my favorite! Will you stop by my house with a jar? heehee! You are so sweet to share! ♥

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  10. I love freezer jam...haven't made it for years...maybe I'll make some again this year!

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  11. Strawberry anything makes my day!!!!

    xx,
    Laura

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  12. Yummo! That jam looks so nice. Hope you're feeling better and your back is on the mend, but I'm sure some lovely home-made jam on some nice warm scones would do the trick? K xx

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  13. I am looking forward to our crop this year...it has been very warm and sunny. You are about a month ahead of us. Oh, how I wish strawberry season was longer. Your freezer jam has me longing...we just ran out of last year's batch. My daughter lives in the area of western NY that is the home of Welch's. She has an unsprayed vineyard of concord grapes that overflows into her yard. Every September I pick many bags of grapes and I make grape jam. It is just delicious. Toast is one of my favorite snacks/treats.

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  14. Love this post!!! Love JAM!!!.. have never made freezer jam, now you've got me going.. will look for the recipe.

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  15. Oh yummyyummydingdong! I love freezer jam and while the strawberries aren't looking too good around here right now, the peaches are. I figure if you can make jam with a bum back, I can get off my lazy bum and makes some myself.

    Feel better soon!

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  16. Kat,
    You and Rene are making me want to make some jam...I sure wish...I had the time:( I know soon...Mr.CC is going to keep be busy putting up veggies from his garden!

    Blessings,
    Linda

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  17. Oh I want to do this too! Thanks for the instructions, that does sound unbelievably easy! Now I'm excited! ~Lili

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