Sunday, August 14, 2011


When you pick 25 pounds of fresh, organic strawberries it's time for some jam!

This is only about 1/8 of the berries we picked.  I only used this much on a double batch of jam! The rest went in the freezer to use throughout the year...

 First, you need to hull the strawberries.  The easiest way to do this is using a straw, as seen here:

After you hull, you mash. (Next time, I might puree... I think I like smooth jam best).

Then, you mix the mash with lots of sugar. Lots. I tell you, do not skimp on the sugar...
I did not want to put in as much sugar as I did, but it's necessary for the jam to gel.
For 4 quarts of berries, you use approximately 10-12 cups of sugar.
I know. Ridiculous.
But necessary.
 So, go ahead... pour it in...
Then slowly bring that to a boil.  You want to try to get it up to 220 degrees. 

 Meanwhile, start sanitizing your jars and lids (lids on the stove, jars in the dishwasher)...

And start your water bath...

 ... and make a yummy strawberry beverage.
(Strawberry puree, lemonade, and ginger ale)

... and start some strawberry fruit leather in the dehydrator
(accompanied by 5 layers of drying apples!)

Once the jam starts boiling, and the water bath gets going, I get too busy to take pictures.  It's easy; you just ladle the hot jam into hot jars (straight out of the dishwasher), and process in the boiling water bath canner for 15 minutes.  Key points are to make sure:
1. Rims of the jars are clean.
2. Lid pieces are secure.
3. Jars are completely covered by water in the water bath.

After 15 minutes, remove the jars CAREFULLY, and voila!

Jam for the next 6 months! (or Christmas presents!)