Since we picked about 15lbs of strawberries during last week’s binge at Tougas Farm, we still had a ton of berries left — even after making strawberry biscuits and a rather successful strawberry-infused variation on Joanne Chang’s Oatmeal Maple Scones from her Flour cookbook (buy it now — no, really).
Making fresh jam has been a tradition in my family for a long time, but this was the first year that I was really able to get one of our children involved. Little A loved practicing her cutting skills chopping strawberries, and the masher was definitely a messy hit (Pals and Princess Terrifica would probably have taken part if they’d known what a mess we could have made).
I’d love to claim credit for an elaborate family recipe, but in this case we worked directly from the old standby on the Sure-Jell box (we don’t use the butter, which is optional).
Note: I’ve found that the jam sets better in glass containers than in plastic ones, despite the suggestion in the Sure-Jell recipe that plastic can be used.
What I’ll probably do a little differently next time:
- With jam, timing is everything — having the right number of clean, very dry jars on-hand is really important. This time, I had Ian scrambling to clean and dry the jars while the strawberries were on the stove. Next time, I’d probably get that taken care of in advance.
- While we had plenty of berries to make really delicious jam, I’d probably block off a few days next time for making jam immediately after picking. Enough berries had started to ripen that it made the process of finding the freshest, reddest ones a bit more of a challenge than it needed to be.
Making it mindful:
Jam is such a simple recipe that it’s easy for kids to understand their role(s) in making it. There’s also a level of fulfillment in putting ‘our’ jam on a slice of bread or a sandwich — in a way that doesn’t come from spreading a store-bought equivalent.
Want more great strawberry jam recipes?
- Sew a Fine Seam has a great, photo filled post with a slightly different variation on the recipe above.
- If you’re at all like me, you’ll be drawn to these Strawberry Jam Margaritas over on Northwest Edible Life.
- Yummy Workshop has what looks like an incredible recipe for Strawberry Jam Cheesecake (we’ll be trying it this weekend, and I’ll post photos when we do).