Thursday, June 2, 2011

Strawberries Galore!

I feel so blessed to live in the location in which I do. Sometimes I whine that I cannot wait to get out of the city but I am truly blessed and need to remember that from time to time!

About fifteen minutes out of town there is a large farm and they have a farm market. It's not quite a "farmer's market" like many think of when they hear the term but it does us well (next time I will snap a few shots!).

A couple of days ago I decided to take a drive "north" and see what they had. Strawberries were in full bounty! It was beautiful. I was so excited! The boys and I purchased a large passel of strawberries and headed home.

With all these strawberries, I have spent the past couple days making strawberry jam and dehydrating strawberries.  Wanna know the simple process I use to make jam? I'm sure glad you asked because I am excited to tell somebody! :)

Of course the first step in the jam making process is to wash the strawberries thoroughly. After washed, I go through strawberry by strawberry and cut of the stem and leaves as well as cut out all of the bad spots.

This may come as a shock to you but here it goes... I am weird. I do not like the texture of strawberries. The taste is alright but the mushy weird feeling just does not work for me. Keeping that in mind, as I cut the strawberries, I throw them into a blender.
If using the blender method, I would recommend leaving a little juice in the bottom. It makes the blending process go a lot smoother. However, make sure to put the lid back on. It makes a disastrous mess with more liquid in the bottom to begin with.

I have been talking to a lot of mothers who, myself included, are just not happy with the amount of sugar a lot of recipes call for when making jam. While at the store the other day, I found Ball Naturals pectin. With this pectin, you only use 1 cup of apple or white grape juice. No other sugar necessary (Please read the five star review. It explains the product very well and I have had no problem with mine.) Using this pectin, you use four cups of prepared strawberries and 1 cup juice to one box.

Continually stir. Using stainless steel pots, my jam cooked quickly and began sticking to the bottom. Bring to a rolling boil and take off of burner or heat source. I skimmed the foam off of the top and then ladled the jam into pint jars leaving 1/2 inch head space. Before putting lids on, be sure to wipe rim of jar. Often the jam gets on the rim and makes sealing impossible.

Place jars in pot in which there is enough room to cover with water. Keep in mind you will be bringing water to a rolling boil when you are looking for a usable pot. Bring water to rolling boil for 10 minutes. Take off of heat and allow to sit for five minutes.

 Carefully, pull jars from water and place on a soft surface. Allow to sit, undisturbed, for twelve hours. Jam should be "set" and sealed. If you see that a jar is not sealing withing a couple of hours, you can reprocess or you can refrigerate.

Isn't this just the most beautiful colored jam you've ever seen? I stand in awe of the wonderfully vibrant colors the Lord saw fit to make strawberries. He's truly amazing!

Next up I will be showing the dehydrating process. Come on back!


Jhona O. said...

Absolutely beautiful!!! Looks mighty delicious too:)

Homestead Wife said...

The jam looks great. I can't wait to start canning my own!!