Our oldest started “real school” this year. First grade. Hard to believe a year has gone by, but here it is again, summer. This fall I will have a second grader and a kindergartner, so hard to believe. I was thinking about how a favorite lunch box meal this year was the classic peanut butter and jelly sandwich, until we were out of the homemade jam. One afternoon off of the bus came a slightly upset and very hungry little boy. He told me that something was “different” with his sandwich today at school and he didn’t like it. I knew right away it was the jam. I had used up the last of the homemade strawberry freezer jam and had switched that morning to a store bought jam. Well, lesson learned, make more jam!
My mom and I make jam and freeze strawberries together almost every year. So, we ordered our berries from Jamie at Springdell and we were up and running our annual jam day (but this time I made more). Freezer jam really couldn’t be easier, trust me! I actually use the recipe from the sure jell site:
I’ll take you through it step by step.
Get your berries in a sink of cold water to give them a good washing. This was just a fraction of my berries, I snapped a photo just before we finished! Then you want to take the tops off and set them aside in a bowl, or bowls.
You want to measure out 2 cups of strawberries and using a potato masher give them a quick squish. You don’t want all of the berries squished beyond recognition, just enough to get the juices going.
Measure out 4 cups of sugar into a bowl. I know that sounds like a lot but you need the sugar to help the jam set properly. If you think about it, you don’t sit there with a spoon and eat jam (maybe I shouldn’t assume that, my apologies to any jam snackers out there). A little bit of jam in a sandwich or on a biscuit is just fine, don’t skimp on the sugar!
Pour in your measured and pre-squished berries and give them a good mix.
You need to let this sit for about 10 minutes.
In a saucepan measure out 3/4 cup of water and mix that with 1 package of sure jell, this is what makes jam, jam! Bring this to a boil and stir constantly for a full minute.
Combine this hot liquid with the strawberry and sugar mixture and stir that for 3 minutes, letting the sugar dissolve. Pour it into containers and you did it! I told you it couldn’t be easier. Let them sit on your counter at room temp for 24 hours and then freeze them to enjoy a fresh strawberry flavor all year round.
Just another her quick jam for you, rhubarb ginger jam! Chop 4 cups of rhubarb and put it into a sauce pan.
Add 1 cup of sugar, 2 Tablespoons of water, and 2 Tablespoons of freshly grated ginger or minced crystallized ginger.
Cook over medium heat stirring constantly until the sugar has melted.
Continue to cook until the rhubarb falls apart and it thickens, 15 minutes or so. Cool in the pan and then package it up for the freezer. If you prefer a sweeter jam, because rhubarb is a bit tart, adjust the sugar just make sure that you cook it long enough for the sugar to dissolve.
A few spoonfuls of this is totally going on Alex’s oatmeal in the morning with some toasted slivered almonds. Enjoy!