It’s Muh Jam!

How is May here already?

I’m not even sure what happened…other than I felt like April was a complete hurricane of a month.

I can honestly say, I neglected Fernandough this month. He is alive and strong…but he was left to fend for himself some days. And that is totally ok. I left for a weekend getaway and fed him just before leaving…and sent him to the fridge for the weekend…with a hug and a kiss. Sometimes it’s ok to neglect your starter. The amazing thing about natural yeast…is it’s strong…and it can come back from almost anything.

He and I are back in the kitchen working today. A couple (4) artisan loaves are going and we kicked out some english muffins this morning. It will feel good to stock up my freezer and feed the ones I love.

TODAY THO….is all about jam. I saw strawberries in the store a couple weeks ago and knew the time was coming. CLAPPING!! I have been looking forward to making jam for a while now. There is something about homemade jam. It feels so ….well….homey. It’s so satisfying to see the jars of jam cooling on your counter….to hear those jars pop and seal…and to refill the shelves. Food. I can make food! I can be self sustaining and independent if I need to be. I don’t grow my own strawberries…but I could! I don’t grow my own wheat…but I could! But for now…I can fill my shelves and freezer and all of my cute pink 5 gallon buckets with food.

I am sharing my strawberry jam recipe…click here. So now you can have your own secret toast and jam!

Yes, I use real sugar. And I don’t skimp on it either. In my opinion, this is way better than what I can buy at the store. First, I know every single ingredient that goes into it…..second, I use high quality ingredients and everything is washed and clean….and third….it’s made with love. It’s basically the same recipe for every fruit except raspberries because they are gross and I refuse. I can’t even make that jam for my dad and he loves it. I just can’t bring myself to be victimized by raspberries in my own home. So you’ll have to go to Pinterest for any raspberry contamination.

I will snag apricots as soon as they are ready…and patiently wait for peaches through the summer…those are muh favorite jams!! I am fortunate to live in an area known for growing amazing delicious fruits and vegetables. I have so many memories of picking and eating warm fruit right off of a tree in the middle of an orchard. There is nothing better. My sisters and I picked cherries as our first teenage jobs, and the highway where I grew up is known as the “fruit highway” with many fruit stands along about a 12 mile stretch of road. I still drive there to this day to get my produce in the summer. It will always be home.

I’m so grateful for the earth…and for hard working farmers. I completely missed posting on Earth Day. Which was my plan…to dedicate a post specifically to her. But truthfully, every post is dedicated to her. Nothing I share could be without her! Every single day I see the EARTH! Promise me…that this week…you will take 1 full minute out of your day to look around you…out a window….stare at the birds……stand barefoot in the grass…really taste a strawberry…. and just be grateful.


Strawberry Jam

Ingredients

  • 4- 16 oz containers of fresh strawberries
  • 4 Tbs powdered pectin
  • 1/2 tsp Butter
  • 5 C pure cane sugar

Directions

  1. Wash strawberries and cut off stems.
  2. Place strawberries in a food processor and process until broken down but still chunky. Maybe 20-30 seconds is all. (you have to to this several times per batch)
  3. Add strawberries, pectin and butter to a large heavy pot, bring to a rolling boil, stirring frequently.
  4. Add sugar and bring again to a rolling boil.
  5. Cold plate test the jam and fill jars.
  6. Water bath jars for 15 minutes.

I was new to canning once too…and some of terms can be confusing….so I’m gonna explain.

Why do I add butter? Easy…it makes the jam less foamy after boiling…..and no one hates butter. You can definitely omit it from the recipe if you would like.

Rolling boil- basically the highest boiling point… meaning it keeps boiling even when you’re stirring. Don’t skimp out on the boiling times…this is what brings the amazing flavor out of the fruit and gives you the best consistency.

Cold plate test- While I’m making the jam, I place a small plate in my freezer. After the 2nd rolling boil, I take about a 1/2 tsp of jam and put it on the cold plate. If I can tilt the plate and the jam hardly moves…it’s ready to go! This is what helps keep the fruit chunks from floating to the top of the jam during the water bath. Better consistency of fruit chunks throughout the jam. Examples below.

Water bath- It’s literally just that. A bath to seal the jars for storage. You take the full jars, put a lid and ring on it (not over tightened) and lower them into a large pot of boiling water. Let the water come up over the jars about an inch. And let them boil for the allotted time. Remove from the water and let them sit on the counter until completely cooled before touching them. They will “pop” to tell you they’ve sealed. It’s music to your ears!

My best hint….to enjoy the process. Turn on your favorite music…smell all the smells….sneak a taste….and be present in creating. And set aside one jar for giving away!