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We Be Jamming

June 30, 2010
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The art of food preservation has been enjoying a bit of a comeback. Freezing, canning and jamming are all the cool things to do nowadays, but I want you to know that it is a long-lived tradition of mine (since three whole summers ago) back before it was hip. Every summer, my hometown is inundated with delicious, delicious fresh strawberries.  We pick them, we buy them cartons at a time, we stuff our faces with them as whole berries, in smoothies, in pies, in shortcake and on ice cream. We have so many of them that we don’t even know what to do with them all. It’s a burden, really. So, that’s where the jamming came in. It’s a lovely way to spend the day, a great way to use up some strawberries, and an even better way to enjoy them past their all-too-short-season.

What You’ll Need

5 cups of strawberries

7 cups of sugar

1 box of pectin

a pat of butter (optional)

8 8oz jars

knife and cutting board

2 large bowls

potato masher

large pot

funnel

measuring cups

Step One: Tedium


Unfortunately, the first step is the same annoying first step to all strawberry dishes. You have to hull them. Cut off the stems, leaves and any icky spots. Then, throw the berries in a bowl.

Step Two: Stress Release


Scoop the berries, one cup at a time, into the other bowl and mash them. Keep a few berry pieces in there, but it should have a soupy texture.

Step Three: Play With Fire

Pour the berry mash into the large pot and stir in the box of pectin. At this point, you can toss in a pat of butter which might reduce the foaming later when it’s boiling. We couldn’t really tell if it made a difference, but it has been my experience that butter tends to make things extra delicious, so who cares?  Heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture comes to a rollicking boil. Then, quickly stir in the sugar. Once it comes back to a boil, let it cook for one minute and remove from heat.

Step Four: Can It

Set the funnel into a jar and fill it up to an eighth of an inch away from the top. Screw the lids on. To play it safe, drop the closed jars into boiling water to avoid risk of botulism.

Step Five: Firm It Up

Let the jars sit for a few hours and voila! You have homemade jam! While you’re waiting, use any leftover jam that’s still runny from the pot to drizzle over some vanilla ice cream to celebrate a job well done.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Anonymous permalink
    June 30, 2010 8:01 pm

    Wonderful job!

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