It's springtime (and nearly summertime) where I live, and that means red ripe strawberries!
My girls and I headed off to a local pick your own farm and had a grand time picking berries. We picked 18lbs in about 30 minutes. Then we went back a week later and picked another 18lbs!
With 36lbs of strawberries, we are stocking our freezer with delicious homemade freezer jam.
This is what you'll need to make your own.
-Containers to store your jam
If you're new to home preserving, this is what you're looking for when you shop for pectin. Depending on your local store, you might have a few options. No cook pectin is the way to go. To my delight, this year I discovered the no cook packets on the left which use 4 cups of berries and only 1 1/2 cups sugar. The liquid pectin on the left calls for 2 cups of berries and 4 cups of sugar. Hmmmmm. You decide.
Once you have your pectin, it's pretty simple. Just follow the directions included on the package.
Wash the berries well, then cut off the stems. I cut the berries in half or quarters to save myself a little mashing effort. Crush them one layer at a time using a potato masher.
Mash the berries to your desired consistency. I like my jam still a little chunky.
Follow your directions for adding the pectin. Some recipes also call for lemon juice. Mix it really well.
Ladle into jars, leaving space for expansion during freezing. I like the Ball freezer jars shown above (they come in 8 or 16oz size), but you can also use regular tupperware containers. Don't they look beautiful?
The jam will keep for 3 weeks in the refrigerator, or up to 1 year in the freezer. Peanut Butter and jam sandwiches are a staple in our home, so a jar never lasts long!
If you still have strawberries leftover they also freeze well.
Wash them well, then you can cut them up depending on their size. Load them into bags (quart or gallon size) and load them into the freezer. Simple, and you have tasty berries all year round to top your waffles.
Since we've got strawberries on the brain, we decided to make this cute lumpy bumpy strawberry from an idea I saw on No Time for Flashcards.
Can't get enough strawberries? These two books are our favorite "berry books".