Jam! April 16, 2009Posted by jeninmaine in food.
Tags: canning, jam, nom, preserves, strawberries, strawberry, yummy
I was out with Jenn the other night (nothing exciting, just talk and Starbucks as it’s the only non-bar place other than Denny’s that’s open late) and afterward she was headed to Wal-Fart so I went with her (the other non-bar place open late). How pathetic that we can only get together in the evenings after our kids are in bed. Anyway.
At Wal-Fart they were selling strawberries for $1 a pound and had about a zillion of them. I thought for sure there must be something wrong with them but they were US-grown and there was a staffer there who told us they had just ordered way too many so were trying to get rid of them before they went bad, hence the great price. So, I ended up buying a whole bunch as we eat a lot of strawberries (like, three pounds in two days isn’t uncommon) and I have a neat upcycling idea for the plastic boxes they come in. I decided I would try my hand at making jam since I had never done it before.
Here are the fruits of my labor, so to speak:
I started out small with just four pounds of berries, and tried out a no-pectin recipe. I plan to do another batch with pectin to see which I prefer. Anyway, it was a little time consuming getting the whole jar sterilization process down but overall fun and delicious. I even got to try out the food mill attachment I bought (refurbished, so it was cheaper) for my KitchenAid mixer, and it was awesome! I’m glad I wore a red sweatshirt because I learned that pushing too enthusiastically with the food pushing stick makes liquified strawberry shoot out. I like my jam to spread evenly.
Lesson learned: Four pounds of strawberries may not look like all that much while floating in the sink, but once you get into cutting off the stems and those little hard seedy bits at the bottom you realize it’s actually quite more than you expected. I think I’m going to invest in one of those rubber mats for standing in front of the sink.
In the end, though? So totally worth it.