April 8, 2013

Strawberry Picking ....... & jam

I always imagined strawberry picking a certain way in my mind. A beautiful open space, fields as far as the eye can see, sweet fragrance filling the air, buckets and buckets full of giant berries, red- sticky fingers and good company: and that is just the way this was! Exactly how I imagined it to be. 
It was a bit more tiring and hot than I expected, but so wonderful. 
I can just smell it now, that sweet and earthy aroma just taking over my senses. Pops of red strawberries in the blanket of green leaves, and this cutest little strawberry picker there ever was. 
 Rosie was such a good strawberry picking partner. 
She picked a few, but mostly chewed on them until she found a new one to grab, 
 then right in the mouth it would go.

She only stayed in the backpack for so long, then she was off picking and getting as dirty as can be. 

 That chubby little hand covered in strawberry and dirt- I could just kiss it all day long!

 So.... I didn't anticipate how much time it would take to wash and hull the strawberries. 
It took quite some time, but John was being extra sweet and offered to hull them for me.
(I might have told him he had to help if he wanted some jam..... jk jk)
So, this jam is now my very favorite. 
I had intentions of making this elaborate, professional canning-ish recipe I found, but I decided it was waaaaay too much. I don't have the patience for such a process, the boiling, the canning, etc. I also knew I would get about half way through and then we would have some type of half boiled berries and who knows what else. ha! So, this is an easy peasy no boil, no sweat recipe. 
It lasts in the freezer for one year, and once opened in the refrigerator for two weeks.
 It is so my kind of jam- chunky and tastes like 'real fresh strawberries' every time.

2 cups mashed strawberries (I like my jam more chunky, so I chopped them and barely mashed) 
1/2 cup sugar or splenda
2 Tablespoons pectin
1. Stir sugar and pectin in a bowl 2. Add fruit-stir for three min. 3. Pour into jar and let sit for 30 min. Enjoy!

My first time making jam (easy version) was a success!
We have been eating it almost every morning. 
We already finished two jars.
 I found whatever little wrapped scraps I had at home and tied up these cute jars for gifts. 
Ribbon, burlap, bakers twine, silk flower,
 and watercolor strawberry tags I made last minute. (reads, "picked for you")

Hope you enjoy this as much as we do!

Would love to hear how you like this jam, and other favorite jam recipes of yours?