My mother and I make our own preserves each year. We like to make enough for our extended family, as well as little gifts for my girls’ church & school teachers. We make pear, peach & strawberry preserves, but strawberry is by far our family favorite.
Amazin’ Acres Farm Market is a local, family run business. During the fall, they have a very well-known corn maze, pumpkin picking, hay rides & anything to do with fall festivities. My oldest daughter went there this past fall for Kindergarten Fall Festivities.
During the spring/summer, they allow folks to come pick their own strawberries for $9/gallon, or choose from pre-picked berries for $11/gallon.
My mother, daughters, & I (while babywearing my 3 month old son) recently went picking. Amazin’ Acres Farm Market doesn’t use pesticides and chemical on their produce, which is something I love about them.
My mom & daughters.
My oldest daughter, Hannah Kate.
My youngest daughter, Taylor.
When we got home, I began preparing the strawberries for strawberry jam (not freezer jam).
~Bring boiling-water canner, half-full with water, to a simmer
~Wash jars and screw bands in hot, soapy water; rinse with warm water. Pour boiling water over flat lids in saucepan off the heat. Let stand in hot water until ready to use. Drain well before filling.
~Wash, cap & slice the berries
Making the jam:
~Crush the berries up (using a potato masher works best for me; do NOT puree!)
~Measure 6 cups of the crushed berries into a saucepan.
~Measure 4 cups of sugar into a bowl
~Take ¼ cup of sugar from previous bowl of sugar & mix it with 1 box of SURE-Jell into a small bowl. (Using SURE-Jell lets you use 4 cups of sugar, instead of 7).
~Stir in this mixture into the saucepan with the 6 cups of crushed berries & add ½ tsp of margarine to reduce foaming (if desired)
~Bring mixture to a full rolling boil on high heat, stirring constantly
~Stir in remaining sugar & return to a full boil for exactly 1 minute, stirring constantly
~Remove from heat & skim off any foam
~Ladle quickly into prepared jars, filling them within 1/8 inch of the top
~Wipe jar rims and threads & place the lid and band in place tightly
~Place jars on an elevated rack and lower into canner. Water must cover jars by 1-2 inches (add boiling water if needed)
~Cover & bring water to a gentle boil for 10 minutes (I do 15 minutes because I live in a high elevation)
~Remove jars and place upright on a towel to cool completely
~After jars cool, check the seals by pressing the middle of the lid with finger (if lid springs back, it is not sealed & must be refrigerated)
~Let stand at room temperature for 24 hours & then store unopened jams in cool, dry, dark place for up to 1 year.