Tuesday, May 1, 2012

I'm Jammin!

Well, I certainly have the summer bug, even more so this year than last!  I am excited about our garden, I'm looking forward to learning the process of canning and freezing fresh garden vegetables. 

The boys and I went yesterday to a local farm and picked fresh strawberries right off of the plant.  The boys had so much fun and they were very eager to fill their buckets full of juicy red strawberries.  I do believe they had their fair share of eating while working.  We brought home 2 gallons of strawberries and a jar of local honey.  I have heard that local honey helps with people who have allergies.  So we'll see if this relieves us of our allergy problems.  

We brought the strawberries home, washed them, removed the stems, and froze one gallon of them.   

The second gallon, half of that portion I made homemade freezer jam.  The other half of the gallon I plan on making from scratch strawberry cupcakes with coconut icing.  (Another blog to follow on that one!)  I've never done this before, but I've sampled other homemade prepared jams and loved them.  How hard can it be, the process wasn't very difficult, but I'll see 24 hours from now if the jam sets.  I did alter the recipe, but couldn't bring myself to add 4 cups of sugar to only 2 cups of strawberries, I just couldn't.  It made me sick to think of that much sugar in a jam.  I know even if this doesn't work out, eventually I'll figure out a way to make a healthier jam in the future.  But, first I had to get my feet wet a little with the process.  So, I added 3 cups of strawberries to 2 1/2 cups of sugar. 

Strawberries ready to be smashed


Smashed strawberries

Getting ready to add the pectin

Boiling the pectin

Adding the pectin to the smashed strawberries

Containers washed and ready

Jam in the containers

Containers closed and need to sit for 24 hours

I couldn't be more thrilled to see how this whole JAM SESSION play outs!  (Yes, pun intended!)  I'll know by 5pm tomorrow.

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