Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Say it ain't so Strawberry Jam

Do you read my blog? Then you know that I'm pregnant...STILL. I've resorted to "things that I've always thought about maybe doing" list and on that list was making Strawberry Jam the way my Grandma Teresa used to do it. Now I knew this would be a project and I embraced that because I have NOTHING to do.

Step One: Find Ball preserve jars and lids
Stuff for Jam
Now this proved more difficult then I thought - 7 stores later and a Twitter from the very greatest of Matriarch's AndreAnna and I found them at the craft store. But they didn't have new lids and if there is anything I remember about from my Grandma was that you needed NEW lids. On a whim I looked in the hardware store this morning and did you know they have LIDS and the jars and everything. The hardware store that is literally a 10 minute walk from my house could have saved HOURS of hunting yesterday.

Step Two: Find fruit
I went to BJ's Warehouse and they had perfect Strawberries so that was decided easily enough. I had found the Sure Jell that I needed earlier so I was ready to go.

Step Three: Find recipe
My Grandma loved to write down recipes and because of this I have BOOKS and BOOKS of her recipes so I started hunting this morning. I looked. And I looked. Nothing. So finally I called her up at the nursing home...I love my Grandma and we have a load of amazing memories together but she's not altogether present now and she's not big on talking on the phone so I didn't know how this was going to go. So she said Hi and asked how the baby was and I said still inside and she gasped and asked how long I planned on baking her. So she's fiesty today - that's good for me. So I ask her where her recipe is to make Strawberry Jam and she said on the box of the Sure Jell. Rock on Grandma.

Step Four: Prepare to make the jam
This is involved because I planned on "canning" the jam as I didn't want to have to refridgerate all this jam. So you have to wash with hot soapy water everything and then I ran it through the sanitze feature on our dishwasher and then you boil the lids.

Step Five: Chop up your strawberries
Lazy chopping
I used the food processor because I'm lazy like that and I didn't have a potato masher.

Step Six: Cook with your Sure Jell and 1/4c. Sugar until it boils for a minutes
Sure Jell
Step Seven: Add the rest of the sugar (3 3/4c.) and bring to a boil again for exactly one minute. Remove from heat. Skim off foam.

Step Eight: Pour into your jars - put your boiled lids on top of the jam and then screw on the top.
Strawberry Jam

Step Nine: Now if you're going to give it all away or if you're going to keep it all in your fridge you can stop here but I wanted to go ALL the way there so I canned them.
Boil Those Babies Up
Which basically means you boil the sealed containers for about 10 minutes. If you don't have a "canner" (which I'll be honest I don't even know what a canner technically is) you can just stick a hot plate grate in the bottom of your pan - you just don't want to put your glass jars right on top of the bottom of the pan for reasons that I do not know but Grandma said so lets go with that.
Homemade Canner

Step Ten: Open up one of the still warm jars while standing in front of the sink and try really hard not to consume the entire jar with the spoon in your hand.
Completed Jams YUMMM

I would love to say that this was SO much cheaper then buying a jar of jam from the grocery store...but it wasn't. In the end each jar ended up costing about $3.00 including the price of the jar and lids so it WOULD be cheaper when (hahaaha with a newborn) I make the next batch of jam. What I will say is that it tasted WAY better then any jam I've ever had before. EVER. Seriously this stuff makes smuckers taste like crap in comparison. Now if you don't mind me I'll be going to make some toast with equal part Jam to Bread.


noble pig said...

I've always wanted to do this too! It looks great!

Michelle Smiles said...

I can't believe you actually made jam. Girl, you need to have this baby because you are making the rest of us 9 month preggos look like slackers. I'm lucky to make dinner every night at this point.

But my mouth is watering. I remember my mom making strawberry jam a couple of times when I was a kid and I can still taste it. Yum!

Robyn said...

Give yourself a pat on the back! I think making jam is one of those "accomplishment" cooking tasks -- like how baking homemade bread makes you feel.

You'll be pureeing your own babyfood in no time...!

Anonymous said...

My younger sister made this same jam a couple weeks ago with strawberries fresh from her garden. She was afraid to try because making jelly sounds so intimidating, but I guess it was pretty easy and what do you know, my mom's recipe is from the back of the Sure Jell box, too. Anyway, my dad's already eaten jars of it and I'm guessing we're going to receive some wrapped with ribbon for Christmas. You win the jelly war, though, because you're like 10 months pregnant. Your award is in the mail!