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a good day for jam

some finished strawberry jam in jars

another year's worth

Just under the wire June-wise, I got the strawberry jam made. And boy, is it a relief. You may recall my concern, which was briefly alloyed when I picked eight quarts of strawberries but then returned when the jam I made on Friday didn't set properly. That's what I get for trying a new recipe, and for picking berries after a couple consecutive days of rain. Fearing there wouldn't be any picking days left (and disappointed at the prices for pick-your-own: $3.00/lb is hardly worth the driving and effort) I picked up three quarts of local berries from Wilson Farms. Those, plus the leftovers I picked and left to dry out in the fridge for a week, are now eight quarts of delicious, traditional recipe, sugar-filled jam.

strawberry jam bubbling on the stove

bubble, bubble

Luckily, it was a fine day for jam cooking: which is to say, for having three pots of boiling liquid going on the stove at once. The sun was hot, but there was a wonderful breeze and we kept the house open all day to blow away the steam. Much better than the first time, lo these many years ago. (What I was doing with four boiling pots back then I have no idea.)

What I made today alone is enough to take us through until next year. In addition there's also the four and a half quarts I made on Friday using liquid pectin (for strawberry jam I usually use Sure-Jell powdered), and the five-plus quarts I made from this recipe from Food in Jars (though without the vanilla beans; I never have vanilla beans). The former eventually did set, roughly, after 48 hours or so, and the latter I will attempt to re-cook to make it something more than lemony strawberry sauce. It is not now jam.

But regardless, I have eight solid quarts. Phew. I celebrated by dining on a peanut butter and jam sandwich made with the foam skimmed from the top of the jam, which is really more like a peanut butter and strawberry-flavored sugar sandwich. Just the thing. We still have about half a jar left of last year's strawberry jam, and it'll be back to finishing that up with the next sandwich, but today had to enjoy the new.

And there's still almost a full pint of strawberries left. I guess we'll just have to eat them, you know, raw.


very nice blog

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