I think strawberries are a very dependable fruit. I know what to do with a strawberry. On cereal, in smoothies, with fresh cream and a little sugar, dipped in chocolate… all strawberries.
My grandfather’s favorite dessert (or one of them, he had a very sweet tooth for a man who was a beanpole most of his life!) was strawberry shortcake. So I quickly learned how to make a good strawberry shortcake, which is still my go-to dessert when I really, really want to make something people-pleasing.
One thing I have never done, in any way, is to can anything, let alone strawberry jam. But I was really excited to give it a try, because there is something really satisfying about creating something from whole ingredients that in the end looks like something you could buy in a store.
So… without further ado…. my first jam! (You can slow down the slideshow by rolling over it and hitting the stop/advance buttons)
Overall, definitely a positive experience. I have my eye on a few more recipes for canned goods that came with my canning supplies – especially with my tomato plants growing like gangbusters! (There I go with those vegetable garden teasers – just making sure everyone keeps reading….)
A few things I learned along the way:
1) The boiling jam is HOT, people. It’s hot, and it spatters, so beware.
2) You don’t need a lot of fancy supplies, just tongs you can use to grab the jars, the jars themselves, and a pot big enough to cover the jars with water plus a couple inches above them. The funnel I got was helpful, but not 100% necessary.
3) It’s not especially hard or time-consuming. From cutting strawberries to putting the final product out to cool, it probably took a little over 90 minutes. If I did it again, it would take even less time.
4) Sterilize more jars than you think you need – that way if there’s more than you think there will be, you have the jars ready to go.
Go forth and make jam!