This one starts with a new years resolution. In the last couple of years I've been trying to keep my resolutions simple so that I actually feel like I accomplished something by the end of the year. For 2009 my resolution was to . . . pick berries and make jam. I should say right now - if this is all I accomplished in a year then all of you reading this have the right to come to my house and kick my rear end. And, especially, if that's the excuse you need to visit then I will welcome it.
I started this adventure by inviting a friend of mine and her kids to join me in picking strawberries. We chose a lovely farm nearby, and of course, got lost on the way! It took us nearly an hour to get there.
Her youngest, Luke, is 18 months and especially enjoyed picking the berries and squeezing them between his fingers. I don't think my friend even attempted to get the stains out of his clothing!
The picking went quickly. But, it was a little hot outside so our time concluded with meltdowns from both kids. But, by that time our boxes were as full as we needed them to be anyway. Success.
I came home with 11 pounds of strawberries costing $1.47 per pound. I cut up one pound and divided them into sandwich bags to freeze. That way when the margarita urge comes my way I can just grab a bag from the freezer and throw it in my blender. I cut up another 1/2 pound to just put in the refrigerator to graze on.
A couple of days later I gathered some canning supplies and hoped to make jam with the rest of the berries.
There is a strawberry jam that sticks out in my memory from my childhood. I wonder if Em remembers it too? Our pastor's wife made the most wonderful jam. She used to stockpile it in the freezer and pull it out for Sunday lunches. It occurred to me that it probably wouldn't be difficult to find a similar recipe and make some of my own.
Then, serendipitously, House on Hill Road (one of my favorite blogs) posted about her strawberry jam making process. I love it when that happens. I ended up using her recipe and made 12 jars of my own.
Boy, does it have a lot of sugar in it. But, it is so good! Just in case you're at my house (you know . . . in case I'm spending far too much time on the couch and you need to kick my rear end) be sure to grab some jam on the way out the door. You'll be glad you did.