Tuesday, July 01, 2008
This weekend we went Strawberry Picking.... I love this time of year because the garden is in the ground, kids are out of school.. and lazy days can happen.... UNLESS you decided to CAN!
Christmas this year will more than likely be smaller than last year due to oil prices rising. So this year I am making Strawberry Jam for some Christmas Gifts ( If I can get it to last that long!)
I decided to show you a way to make strawberry Jam and can it! So today's post will probably be Picture heavy! So bare with me!! I'm an extremely visual person.. so If I missed something.. don't be afraid to ask!
First I take the strawberry's and hull them.. and then wash them up!
Then that handy dandy potato masher that you have stored on display because it's old and cute is now usable to mash up your strawberries ( recipe will follow)
One your Strawberries are mashed up.. you put them in a BIG pot
Then add your sugar and lemon juice
Here's where you patience and waiting begins.. you have to boil down the strawberry's and sugar.. and boil.. and boil.. and boil!!!
After some time you can "test" the Jam... The three glass plates that you have put in the freezer ( the recipe will tell you this).. Take one out and put a TBSP of the jam on it and put it back in the freezer.. If you run your finger down the plate and it runs with it.. it's not ready...
Go back to boiling.. and boiling... Now if you take out another plate and you do the same thing and your finger runs through it and it separates and doesn't go back to "sliding" down.. it's ready!! I am holding this plate straight up..( I made a little mess doing it.. sorry)
Now here is where you get to see what some of grandmother's tools were used for... and NO this is not a donut cutter!! This is a funnel that helps you keep all your contents nice and clean while guiding it into the jars.. ( Your jars should be STERILIZED and never re-use the CAP on the rings)
This handy dandy tool is used to put the jars in the water and take them out.. ( to much steam to show you the process) I water bathed them for about 15 minutes... when they are pulled out of the water you can hear the can tops just POP!!! After about 15 minutes if you touch the top and it bounces back.. it's not sealed properly and you can put it back in the water.. if it does NOT seal properly.. do NOT fear.. you can store this Jam in the fridge to be used right away!
The End result....
DELICIOUS AND PRETTY!!
* 2 pounds fresh strawberries, hulled
* 4 cups white sugar
* 1/4 cup lemon juice
1. In a wide bowl, crush strawberries in batches until you have 4 cups of mashed berry. In a heavy bottomed saucepan, mix together the strawberries, sugar, and lemon juice. Stir over low heat until the sugar is dissolved. Increase heat to high, and bring the mixture to a full rolling boil. Boil, stirring often, until the mixture reaches 220 degrees F (105 degrees C). Transfer to hot sterile jars, leaving 1/4 to 1/2 inch headspace, and seal. Process any unsealed jars in a water bath. If the jam is going to be eaten right away, don't bother with processing, and just refrigerate.
To test for jelling
Place three plates in a freezer... after about 10 minutes of boiling place a tsp of the liquid of the jam onto the cold plate. Return to freezer for a minute. Run your finger through the jam on the plate... if it doesn't try to run back together (if you can make a line through it with your finger) it's ready to be canned!
And I wanted to Show you how the Garden is GROWING!!! I picked the Romaine lettuce today and had a wonderful salad using the fresh eggs we gathered this morning!
These are peas!!
My Romaine lettuce
Our eggs and lettuce
More peas.. Aren't the flowers pretty!!
Again.. ANY questions.. ASK AWAY!! I'm always here to help!