I finally gathered up enough of the misshaped and odd looking strawberries that did not become treats for my wife…and yes, me too – to make a batch of strawberry jam. I keep a gallon sized freezer bag in the freezer(duh) and add to it as the consumption allows. When the gallon bag is bulging full it is time to make jam. So today was the day.

I use the “Sure-Jell” low sugar/no sugar pectin and I always default on using sugar, only 4 cups per batch vs. 6 cups for the regular recipe. It takes 6 cups of mashed up strawberries to get started…accurate measurement is critical to making successful jams and jellies. I still have a cup or so in the freezer bag for the next batch. Once measured and mashed up – see below – you add the pectin mixed with ¼ cup of the sugar (from the original 4 cups measured out) into the mix and begin cooking…another key is to follow the recipe…..I know it’s not a man thing to follow recipes or directions but I have learned many good lessons the hard way!

6 Cups of mashed up strawberries with the pectin/sugar mix stirred in.

Now – when it boils vigorously foam tends to build up on the surface of the jam…even when adding a dollop of butter in an effort to keep the foam down. The foam is not a bad thing….it just not aesthetically pleasing when viewed in the jars….. ewwwww, what’s that stuff floating in the jam? So, I just scoop it off, put it into a little bowl for immediate consumption. Today Kathy was making her special breakfast treat – 3 tbs. of quick oats, a 4 tbs. of egg whites, some cinnamon and topped with any sort of fruit compote…. Cooks two minutes covered in a very small fry pan, flip and add the fruit…today was the strawberry jam foam – must have been good because I got a real kiss as a thank you……nuff said.

The foam starting to show up on the surface of the mix….close to boiling. Keep stirring Bishop – you don’t want to scorch the jam….also, stirring is clearly stated in the recipe/directions!

Then into the sterile jars, processed for 10 minutes in a boiling water bath and now wait until cooled and probably at least 24 hours to make sure it jells well. I already tested it…the utensils used in the process pick up and hold lots of jam…if it jells well more sticks to the utensils and I get to clean-up the tools……yes I do use my tongue….it’s only me and my germs…..I don’t share. I hate to waste any of that precious sweetness!

A nice little bounty to stash away in the pantry. I still have a few jars of strawberry jam from the 2011 season so I may have to gift some of it or eat a lot more biscuits & jam, toast & jam and maybe try Kathy’s egg white concoction with strawberry jam lathered across the top! Yum!

The bounty….all in reused jars. The hexagonal jars get used up first as I don’t trust them to reseal with previously used lids. The rest of the jars get new sterilized lids. That’s what the recipe/directions tell me to do…….