With the storms last week and the blog hop yesterday I've missed 2 Tasty Tuesdays! I couldn't bear to do it again this week so how about a Tasty Tuesday a day late. A Tasty Wednesday?
A current goal of mine is to learn how to can fresh fruit and veggies. So a few weeks ago, when my sweet dad showed up on my front porch with flats of delicious strawberries I knew this was my first project! That evening I called in reinforcements (my mom) who came over for a strawberry party (because tacking the word "party" on the end of washing, prepping, and cooking 4 flats of strawberries combined made it sound more fun). My mom and I have such a special relationship, I wouldn't trade it for the world. She is one of my very best friends, and we can make just sitting in an empty room together a hillarious time somehow, it's just our personalities together I suppose, and I wouldn't have it any other way. So after a couple of hours in strawberries up to our elbows we started referencing the I Love Lucy candy factory episode with tears streaming down our faces. Such sweet memories. So some of the berries we simply chopped up and froze in freezer bags. But then...in a moment of possible strawberry-induced insanity I decided I neeeded to make jam. I've never made jam in my life. I had no idea how to make jam. Or how to can jam. All I knew was that I had hundreds of strawberries in front of me, and a need for jam. Thanks to google and the combined efforts of my mother and knowledge of canning from my mother in law (thanks for never thinking I'm crazy when I call at 10 pm with a random question of-hey I need to know how to can...right now)I did it.
I'm an official jam-stress.
Well...I made strawberry jam.
Let's get started!!
Beginning with prepping our jars...this is a whole lot less intimidating than you think-trust me! Bring a big pot of water to boiling and drop in (gently) your canning jars and lids
Leave them in the boiling water for 5 minutes. After that grab a good pair of tongs and carefully lift each jar and lid out. (This was the most difficult part for me, fishing for clear glass jars with a steam bath happening on your hands and face. I've heard of a way you can do this part in the oven that I plan on looking in to.) After you've gotten the jars and lids out place them face down on a clean, dry kitchen towel.
This is the important part- do not touch the inside of the jars or lids because that's how you get mold in them. So make sure they go straight from the boiling water with tongs to the towel until you are ready to use them.
Now let's get to jamming. (I've waited so long to say that. Still, I apologize.)
Wash 2 pounds of berries and hull them. I know there are a lot of cool techniques for that but I just used a strawberry hull-er. (No idea if that's the technical name though)
Then simply put the strawberries in a large bowl and grab basically anything sharp that will cut them up. I used a biscuit cutter.
This worked perfectly to give me a rough chop, but I wanted more of the juices as well, so I used my potato masher to finish the job.
Strawberry perfection. Try your best to practice self control and not just sit down with the bowl and a spoon.
Next add to the strawberries 4 cups of sugar and 1/4 cup of lemon juice. Stir this up and pour it into a heavy bottomed saucepan and turn it on low.
Boil the mixture stirring often until the temperature reaches 220 degrees F. Then pour in your sterilized jars, screw the lid on tightly, and turn the jar upside down for 10 minutes. This is the easiest way to can! (Also the only way I know as of yet. But still, super easy!) When you flip them upright after the 10 minutes make sure the lid is down, like when you buy a product in a jar at the groccery store and the jar hasn't been opened yet and the "button" on the lid is down. If it's not down yet, just flip it upside down again for a few more minutes until it does.
That's it! It's so delicious and actually pretty easy for my first jam experience! I also really like that you don't need pectin for this recipe. With all the great printables on the internet you can make these super cute to give away as well. I love unique homemade gifts like this! I also like homemade strawberry jam for breakfast!