One of my first “jobs” was picking strawberries for a local farmer. My sister and I would get up around 6:30am, go pick a couple of flats of berries and be home (it was just a mile down the street) by 9:30 – just in time for the morning cartoons. We were probably about twelve years old and now I think it was one of the best jobs I ever had! Most of the time more strawberries made it into our mouthes than made it into our gathering baskets. We made just enough money to go into town to the 5&10 store to get an assortment of old-fashioned candies, boondoggle for making more key chains for friends and family than we could ever give away and ten cent bags of popcorn. We then would head over to the bookstore and stock up on our favorite laying in the hammock reads.
Our mom always made pint jars upon pint jars of jam with the berries we brought home and we loved it so much, we couldn’t even wait until she got it in the jars! She would skim the foam off the top of the jam and it would immediately be devoured on saltines by three girls running around the kitchen.
So, yesterday, with my abundance of berries, I gave her recipe a whirl!
My Mom’s Strawberry Jam
makes 8 pint jars
4 pints strawberries
7 cups sugar
1/2 tsp butter
1 pouch Certo, Liquid Fruit Pectin
To prepare fruit, hull the strawberries and place in a large mixing bowl. Using a potato masher (or the back of a large spoon), crush the berries. You want the end result to be small (1/2 inch) pieces of mushy fruit. Measure EXACTLY 4 cups of the fruit into a large stockpot. Add EXACTLY 7 cups of sugar
Stirring constantly, bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the butter to reduce the amount of foam (I love the foam so sometimes I leave the butter out). Once the mixture is at a FULL ROLLING BOIL, add the pectin, stirring constantly for EXACTLY one minute.
Remove from heat and skim off any foam. Quickly ladle into jam jars. If not using the jam immediately follow canning procedures to preserve.
In our house, I knew this batch was going to go quick by the time I gave one to a couple of friends so I didn’t can these jars. Without canning, the jam will keep in the fridge for a couple of weeks.
Pictures of the process…