So, I did it. I made strawberry jam with fresh-from-the-farm, picked-’em-myself strawberries.
My mother makes strawberry jam every year (just about). I don’t think I tasted the store-bought variety until I slept over at a friend’s house when I was seven or eight years old. (And I didn’t like it. It was way too sweet and tasted nothing like real strawberries.)
But, as a child, I recall that there was what looked like a fair amount of work involved in picking enough strawberries and preserving enough bottles of jam to get us through until the next picking season.
So, as an adult living on my own and then with my own family, I resorted to store-bought jam (quite frankly, I just stopped eating jam altogether). But, if I was lucky, from time to time I would be gifted a bottle of Mom’s homemade strawberry jam.
I must admit, I miss having a regular supply of good homemade jam in the pantry or in cold storage. And I know my mom wouldn’t mind if I helped myself to her strawberry jam stock, especially if I help pick the strawberries and make the jam.
But I thought it was high time that I stand on my own two feet, learn the secrets of delicious strawberry-jam-making and supply my family with our own little stock of deliciously red jars.
dragged took my husband and my kids to a local U-Pick farm, picked two big baskets of strawberries (plus some snow peas for fun), then I came home, shucked all the strawberries, loaded up a bowl with about 16 cups of the juicy little berries and headed to my mom’s to use her preserving tools.
Initially, I intended to learn my mother’s method. But memories of the amount of time it seemed to take and the reality of how little time I have to play with made me turn to a different source for jam-making instruction: YouTube.
And so, with the help of my mother’s canning/preserving tools, a little bit of her advice, a recipe from CookingUpaStory.com and the related video on YouTube, I managed to make a batch of four bottles of strawberry jam on my own.
I taste tested it of course, and it’s sweet and delicious. I’ll have it on my toast tomorrow morning for the ultimate taste test. Nothing will every beat Mom’s strawberry jam, but I think mine is a close second.
(Oh, and the cool thing about this strawberry jam recipe—you make it in a skillet and it’s quick!)