I haven't made Strawberry jam in years!
For one - I'm very allergic. I wasn't always. I love strawberries but when my immune system started crashing, I was in denial. Picking them gave me hives. Full blown hay fever sneezing, eyes weeping, itchy all over.
When my first food allergy test came back, I can't say I was surprised.
Secondly, even if I could eat strawberry jam, there is nothing to put it on.
I have been relying on family gifts to feed my husband. This has always been a quick and easy homemade gift to give. Yet, my cupboards were bare.
My strawberries are bountiful this year - as are the raspberries and blueberries. They are loving this drought we are in. Early to boot and all ripe one on top of the other.
I picked them this morning, afterwards, I soaped down my arms to keep the hives to a minimum.
Then I made the jam.
My family has always done it the simple way. We don't process in (water bath) canners, we just turn the jar upside down for five minutes to get the seal to work. This means everything needs to be sterilized hot. As in touch quickly so you don't get burnt HOT.
So you see my clean canning jars in assorted sizes simmering on the back burner.
The potato masher whose sole purpose is to mash strawberries or blackberries. (I use my little electric mixer to mash my potatoes.)
The funnel cup to get hot boiling jam into jars neatly.
The obscene amount of sugar. This was the pectin I had on hand. You can make strawberry jam without pectin - look online. However, since I hadn't made it in a while, I chose pectin to make sure of it setting up correctly. This pectin required seven cups of sugar! for five cups of mashed berries.
The ladle to dip into the hot jam. The tongs to grab hot jar lids. The hot pads to hold jars while the screw bands are tightened. The tile hot plate. . .
The tile hot plate was a wedding gift from my parent's neighbors. I use it primarily while canning but that thing has been one of the most useful wedding gifts ever. A big tile set into a wooden frame.
The little half-cup jars will be sent as presents. My mom & dad enjoy the smaller jar.
The bigger jars placed lovingly into my pantry cupboard.