Monday, June 27, 2011

Jam Session

Long, long ago, in a lifetime far away, I gardened, harvested, pickled and preserved like nobody's business every year.  From freezing fresh-picked sweet corn, to pickling green beans, to saucing tomatoes, to making lemon balm jelly, (be still my heart) I spent a lot of time working with a hot water bath canner and all of the jars, rings, and lids that go along with it.

And then I had more children and we moved to Florida- where I never quite figured out how to garden, and all of those activities fell away. 

Well, we've been in PA for almost 5 years now and it's time to get back to basics.  Where better to begin than beautiful, delicious, irresistible, and simple strawberry jam?!

The kids and I went out one early morning to a nearby grower and spent an hour or so picking strawberries.  I didn't want to get in over my head, so we kept it reasonable- picking enough for three rounds of jamming plus some for pies and fresh eating.  I purchased a water bath canner and the jars and various other paraphernalia that are involved in getting that fresh strawberry taste onto a biscuit in January.  We washed and hulled strawberries, washed and sterilized jars, followed the recipe precisely- three times- and are now in possession of many beautifully ruby-red jars of jam.  The secret ingredient is that, "we made it ourselves".

I'm thinking that mint jelly is next...


avalarue said...

I wish you could come here and harvest some of my mint!

Uncle Graham has moved into the "gardener" stage of life and is learning how to grow tomatoes, okra, cucumbers, radishes, green beans... no strawberries, though. Maybe I should look into this canning and preserving thing.

Barbaranne said...

Auntie Dear, I highly recommend it!