Charlie= l'inspecteur de confiture
Sunday was a beautiful day with mostly sunshine. T & E went to the store at the crack of dawn to pick up flowers for me. T used his own money to buy me pink carnations and E & C gave me a big bouquet of pastel roses. The roses were really fragrant; they smell amazing!
Strawberries were on sale at Westbrook this week for $1.28/pound. They will likely be cheaper than that, but with rising grocery costs, I cannot be sure. I bought 4 pounds and only needed to toss 2 berries from the whole lot. They were surprisingly juicy & delicious.
Although I grew up watching my mom and aunt make loads of cooked jelly & preserves, I have really developed a preference for freezer jam. In my opinion, it tastes brighter and fresher. (And it it MUCH easier to make). Maybe you have an idea that jam is terribly time consuming and difficult. Surprise yourself and make some freezer jam. Your family will be blessed by your handiwork and it is a wonderful treat for friends, too.
Here is the recipe that I used, changed up (of course!) from Sure-Jell. Jam is not a recipe that requires precise measuring or you will end up with strawberry sauce-great for ice cream, but not the anticipated finish.
Strawberry Freezer Jam
(I double this, but just make as is if it's your first time)
1 pound strawberries
4 cups sugar
1 package Sure-Jell
1 package strawberry jello (you will only use half of this)
Hull and slice strawberries, place in bowl. With potato masher or pastry blender, mash berries. Don't go too crazy here; you don't want a puree, just a soft mash with little strawberry pieces. The end result should be about 2 cups mashed berries.
Add all sugar to your 2 cups mashed berries and stir. Let it sit for about 10-15 minutes while sugar dissolves. Add about half the package of jello. This brightens the color and boosts the flavor a bit.
In a small pan on stove, heat 3/4 cup water and 1 packet Sure-Jell. Bring to boil and let boil 1 minutes. I stir with a whisk most of the time. Immediately take from stove & pour into berry mixture. Stir until all combined. Ladle into clean jars and place cap on top. Freeze after it sets up or keep in fridge for about 2 months (?).
The jars I use are Ball jars, specifically for freezer use. They come in three sizes, stack and store well and can go in dishwasher. They are fantastic for salsa, too.
Make some jam & let me know how it turns out!!
I had a bit of jam left in the bowl, so I used my sourdough starter to make an impromptu coffe cake with jam swirled through. It was so good that I brushed and flossed as soon as I finished a piece (this always stops me from eating for the night). Embarrassing but true.