Friday, July 22, 2011

Strawberry Jam

For me there is nothing better then fresh, Oregon strawberries, Hood berries to be exact.  They're little, compact, sweet, juicy gems.  Bright red all the way through, they stain your hands and your lips.  (You can expect this same adoration when raspberries and blueberries are in season and right after I've headed to the Gorge to get fresh cherries.)  This year, I took the girls and declared that we would be picking berries, actually hunching over the little mounds gathering our own fruit.  I would not just be pulling into the farm and buying them from the stand.  And it was fun; for about an hour. 
So I paid for a combination of the fruit we picked and some flats that were picked for us, loaded them up and stopped at the store to buy canning materials.  In my journey to feed my family a little bit better, a little healthier, I'm trying to make as many of the things we use so that I can control what goes into our bodies.  And jam is really easy to make!  We used the Surejell Recipe (by we I include my wonderful Mom, or Nama as my girls call her...she has taught me most of what I know about cooking and canning!) and we don't boil the jars to tighten the seal, just turn the jar over as soon as you've filled it and tightened the lid...wait about 20 minutes and flip right side up, and wait for the ping!  This little trick makes canning even easier.

Fresh Oregon berries, from an organic farm.

Cut strawberries with organic sugar, you can make sugar free jam but I figure you use very little jam so it might as well taste really yummy!

The finished product, we couldn't wait to try it, so we had jam on ice cream...versatile too!

I used the same preparation for getting strawberries into the freezer, just clean, cut and toss with organic sugar...fill a freezer bag and don't forget to note the contents and the date.  Frozen berries can be used for sauces, snacks, in baking, and smoothies; you name it the possibilities are endless!  And again, you control what is going into your families bodies and save yourself money. 

Here's the recipe:
*2 Quarts Strawberries, cut and crushed, should equal 5 cups
*7 Cups of Sugar (I use organic)
*1/2 teaspoon of butter
*I box powered SureJell
1. Pour crushed berries into large pot
2. Measure sugar into separate container and set aside
3. Stir package of SureJell into berries
4. Add butter (it keeps the foam down)
5. Bring berries to a full rolling boil (will not stop when being stirred), then add sugar
6. Stir constantly
7. Stir in sugar quickly
8. Return mixture to a full rolling boil, and boil exactly 1 minute, stir constantly
9. Remove from heat
10. Ladle quickly into jars that have been cleaned and preheated (if you can have them washed and in a warm dishwasher waiting, that'll be perfect)
11. Fill jars to about 1/4 inch from rim, clean sides and rim of jars
12. Place heated lids on jars (to heat lids, simmer in water for at least one minute) and be sure to tighten lids
*This is where my directions will differ from SureJell's
13.  Turn jars over for about 20 minutes, then flip right side up, and wait for a pinging noise...then you have jam!  Store in your pantry, and be sure to mark with the date and berry!


  1. I can't take credit for this's on the SureJell boxes, and it makes 6 pints!

  2. I am a Strawberry snob! I always wait for the Oregon Berries and make enough jam to last the year!! Your pictures are making me hungry!! This year I made pop tarts with some of my jam. Thanks for your post : )

  3. Did you use my pop tart recipe? Love that yummy and again, you get to control all the stuff that goes into your families bodies;) And I'm a total strawberry snob too;)

  4. Aaryn - I should have been here for this post when I was doing my first batch of cherry jam! I love the tip the jar over method! Boiling is such a big mess with all the pots! For some reason I didn't see this post on Facebook or networked blogs. Hmmm...Might be good strategy to post these more than once? I know early morning and later evenings and later in the week get the most traffic if you want the most people to see your posts! I also missed out on the contest...though I suppose I could put in a request for some of those fun items for Christmas or birthday! :) xo