Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Are you ready to jam?
Mt. Hood strawberries are a Northwest variety; small, flavorful and incredibly sweet.
I only add enough sugar to help preserve the jam. I am not a huge fan of store bought strawberry jam, it is usually much too sweet for my taste but, our homemade jam is my favorite. Oh goodness, is it delicious!
The start of jam day begins with a good cup of coffee, then the preparations begin. I pull out my grandmothers old cold pack canner, fill it with water and set it on the burner to boil.
Then we wash, de-stem and mash up the berries. They go into my big soup kettle along with the sugar, lemon juice and natural fruit pectin. Only one double batch at a time - for quality control. Our tiny kitchen steams up with a hot foggy humidity and the sweet smell of freshly made strawberry jam fills the air. The jam goes into the jars, the jars go into the canner and come out hot and sealed up tight.
This year we managed 31 jars of ruby red loveliness.
Later this summer we will go pick wild blackberries out on beautiful Sauvie Island and turn them into gorgeous purplely black jars of jam. Oh how I love the berries!
Later that day we get to build great towers out of the strawberry pint boxes, hurray!