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the haas machine: Strawberry Jam

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Strawberry Jam

Every year it seems like people spend more & more money on Christmas gifts. Although I absolutely love to hunt for the perfect gift, spend money on them,  & then, of course, give them, I often struggle with wondering what the people on my list really need? Most people don't need more "stuff" & in fact, would rather not accumulate more (I always think about having to move it all someday...)

So this year, I decided to go a little Martha on everyone & make some home-made gifts. I learned how to make strawberry jam for the first time when a bunch of ladies from our church (www.grvchurch.org) got together to "jam" (insert Bob Marley joke here). I was surprised by how simple it really was & oh so satisfying!

I used the Sure-Jell recipe for the jam & was able to find all the things I needed (lids, jars, funnels, sugar, etc.) at our local grocery store (you can also find them at Menards, Target, Walmart, etc.) One thing that I learned that made the whole process more enjoyable was to get everything ready ahead of time. Measure out your sugar & put it in a bowl, ready to use. Have all your jars washed & in a neat order to fill. Have paper towels handy for spills, etc. Also, it's important to get the timing just right. Use a stopwatch or set a timer for yourself.

It's also best to use fruit that is in season (although you can buy strawberries now, they don't have nearly as much flavor as they do in June & they are 100% more expensive!) And then once you fill your jars, you can cut out pretty pieces of fabric for the tops. The jam is good for about a year after canning, so make sure you date your jars, too.

4 cups prepared fruit
6 1/2 cups sugar
1 box Sure-Jell

To prepare fruit, crush about 2 quarts fully ripe strawberries.
Measure prepared fruit into a 5-6 quart saucepan. Measure sugar into bowl; set aside.
Place pan holding fruit over high heat. Add Sure-Jell, stir until mixture comes to a hard boil. Add sugar at once.

Bring to a full rolling boil and boil hard 1 minute, stirring constantly.
Remove from stove, skim, (take off the top foam) pour quickly using a jamming funnel (leave 1/4 inch room from the top). Seal with new lids (MUST be new). Then to make the jars completely seal, I set the jars upside down for about an hour. Makes abut 10 six-ounce glasses.

Some of the home-made strawberry jam that I made last summer to give as Christmas gifts this year!
John helped by designing these cute little tags to tie around the jars (it helps to have a designer for a husband! Thanks, honey!)



At December 15, 2010 at 8:43 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Home made gifts are the best! I was going to ask you where you got the neat looking tags from and as I read on,I found out-John! You two make a great couple. My husband & I like to go berry picking. He loves picking the berries and I love making jam. When I open a jar in the middle of winter, it brings me right pack to the berry patch,like "summer in a jar".


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