This long weekend I did something I've wanted to do for a long time - make strawberry jam! Every year I have lamented the passing of strawberry season without a pantry full of preserves, so when I found myself with a three day long weekend I made it a priority.
My parents and I made the trek to a local, organic strawberry farm where the picking was ripe and the berries were plentiful!
After a short hour in the summer sun, my fingers were stained pink and my baskets were full, as was my belly! The farm owners instructed us, with a good dose of humor, that over-ripe berries shouldn't be picked unless it was to eat right then and there, which I was all too happy to oblige!
Next, after washing and prepping, the berries were ready to prepare. I have to admit, having never undertaken this before, I greatly underestimated the time involved. My sister and I worked together and after getting a late start (7 pm) we were in the kitchen jarring until 1am! The results, however, were more than worth it! We worked from Ashley English's book Canning & Preserving, part of the Homemade Living Series we featured in the last issue of the magazine. I love her recipe as it uses the natural pectin in the strawberries and uses a lot less sugar than other recipes I'd found - the jam was still perfectly sweet when done!
The finished product - you can see how deep and ruby red the jam turned out - a result of the perfect organic strawberries I'm sure. I'd forgotten how good local, seasonal strawberries truly are. I can't wait to do it again! And I have to say, I'm officially hooked on preserving! We ended up with 10 jars each, the perfect year's supply.