June 16, 2010

Strawberry Jam

It's hard to believe that these delicate little yellow and white flowers can become sweet juicy red strawberries. But it's true... they did. Mother Nature cast her rain and smiled her sun on those flowers and turned them into this bowl of beautiful strawberries.

Oh My Gosh. Isn't she a miracle maker?

I pluck a strawberry and pop it in my mouth every time I pass by the strawberry patch. How could I resist?? The little red candies, um, I mean fruit, tempt me in the most neverending way.

But I have put up some jam to share that fresh strawberry taste with friends and family, too. A jar of homemade jam makes a delightful gift. When you lift the lid off a jar of homemade strawberry jam it's like releasing a moment of summertime, regardless of what season your calender says it is.

Jam can be made the old fashioned way, by cooking it until it gels just right. I have had success making jam this way. I have also had failures doing this.

Adding commercial pectin cuts out the potential for most failures. Jam only needs to cook for about a minute when you add commercial pectin. And I believe the fruit maintains more nutrients and taste because it doesn't have to cook so long... but don't quote me on that. I'm not a nutritionist. I'm only a homegrown countrygirl.

Commercial pectin comes in liquid and powder form. I like the Ball Blue Book recipe for strawberry jam. It's simple. It's easy. And it's quick. It uses powdered pectin. The folks at Ball have been kind enough to post their strawberry jam recipe on their website. You can view it here.
Let's hear it for strawberry jam!

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