In my life, I don't think I have ever thought, "hey, let's make some jam".
I mean, in theory I guess I knew that perhaps many many years ago women possibly made some jam at the same time that they churned butter and beat their laundry on a rock down at the river. But now? Shoprite carries a very nice selection of bread condiments; making my own jelly was up there on the list with making my own cottage cheese.
However, when fate collides with well, strawberries, you just can't ignore it.
I had been spending some time the other day trying to unclutter (declutter?) the shelves on my porch. They have been in a very bad state for a while now (since we moved in, but shhh) and the time had come to sort and purge. One shelf had a huge stack of magazines that for whatever reason, I had saved. So the other night I sat down for an hour and flipped through the magazines, only stopping at pages that I had folded in, meaning something had, at one point in time, looked interesting to me. If that something still looked good, I tore out the page and stuck it into my all-the-things-I-would-like-to-do-but-never-have-time-to-do-ripped-magazine-pages file. But that's a whole other story.
One of the articles that I came across was called "So Many Strawberries and So Little Time". Or something like that. Okay, fine, it wasn't called that at all, but it was all about strawberries and what one could do with them should one find themselves surrounded by strawberries. And then the light bulb went on and - Hey! That's me! And if you have been following along, you will know that these days, I am surrounded by strawberries.
The article was long and full of complicated things like rolling pie crust and buying rhubarb. But at the end of the article, there it was. The recipe for me. It was short, simple and to the point. Strawberry preserves. The recipe basically said to chop up all your strawberries, throw them in a big pot, add some sugar and lemon juice (from a real lemon, but whatever) and simmer for 45 minutes. I could do that.
So I did. I threw about a pound and a half of chopped strawberries in a pot, added a half cup of sugar and one tablespoon lemon juice. I let it come to a boil and reduced the flame to a simmer and let it go to town for 45 minutes. I set the timer to ding every seven minutes so I would remember to stir the strawberries so they wouldn't burn and after 6 dings and a little, my strawberries were ready.
I let them cool and then, like the article said, stored them in an airtight container. But here's the thing, I didn't think a Tupperware was going to cut it and also, I didn't want to stain my Tupperware red from all the strawberries. I looked in the closet where I keep all the recycling (aka the recycling closet) but there weren't any big glass jars there - but there were a bunch of glass baby food jars. Good enough.
My yummy strawberry preserves now live in the fridge, inside baby food jars. If the article is right, it should last for a month.
And because I am a huge crafting geek, I made labels with my beloved Sharpie markers for each glass jar. I know. I'm embarrassed to even show you. Huge geek. Huge. Geek.
Are you a Mom?
Of course you are,
your shirt is dirty :)