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...