It’s strawberry pickin’ time here in Minnesota! How about where you are? Has your season come and gone? I know my sister, who lives in Nebraska, said her season was done weeks ago! It’s amazing how different the weather and planting seasons are from state to state.
Our goal today was to fill 6 ice cream buckets full of delicious strawberries, and we succeeded! It took us 2 hours to do this with 4 people picking. Ok, really I’ll say 2.5 people, since 2 of us were children, and they were more interested in eating them! The sun was so hot at 8am, the girls were wanting to be done after one bucket, but we convinced them we’d have more jam if we filled the rest of the buckets.
Not only did we get buckets of berries, we got to see some other “wildlife” hopping around! That was sure exciting!
Once we took the berries home, we took some time to enjoy a bowl full. Then, we hulled and cleaned all of them. That’s the boring part if I do say so myself! Make sure to stand on a comfy rug or have good shoes on, because you’ll be standing there for a while!
Now it’s time to separate your berries. One bowl for your keepers, the ones you’ll freeze for eating later, putting on top of shortcake or ice cream, or making a strawberry crisp. One bowl for the jam berries.
The berries you picked for making jam now get to be squished. Put a layer of strawberries in a shallow dish, and start mashing with a potato masher. Mash it up good, so that most, but not all, chunks are all gone. Pour this mash into a measuring cup, until it equals 5 cups.
Now, pour the 5 cups into your pot, add in one box of “Sure-jell”, and 1 teaspoon of butter, then stir. Bring this mixture to a rolling boil and add in 7 cups of sugar. My mom said not to change this amount, because it won’t work. There’s a science behind it, and we don’t want to screw this up! Feel free to search for a less sugar or sugar substitute recipe and share with me in the comments! But be sure to make this recipe first! It is amazing!
Once this sweetness comes to a boil, stir continuously for 1 minute. Get your jars ready. I forgot to get a picture of the jars boiling, but here is a picture of the rings getting sterilized! Once you are at the 1 minute stage, turn off this pot, and add in your lids to the rings. Let sit in the hot water until you are ready!
Are you ready for the messy part? With your jars sitting on your newspaper covered counter, add in a funnel to a jar and ladle your strawberry jam mixture to each jar. Leave about 1/2 centimeter of space to the top of each jar. Now, this is important, wipe each top of the jar with a hot water rag. Make sure there is no residue on the top or side where the ring and lid will go. This will ensure a good seal! Immediately cover with lid and ring, tighten, and flip upside down for 5 minutes. Once your five minutes is up, turn right side up, and listen for the “pops”! that will mean they are ready for your pantry!
With hot soapy water, wash the outside of each of these jars, and place in your pantry, ready to eat!
Enjoy your jam! Comment below with any of your on favorite flavors!!
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