Start by Picking the Best Strawberries!
Little Man, Little Missy and I went to our favorite place to pick berries, Fordyce Farms. This family run farm is a fun place to go with little guys since they offer a wide varity of produce to pick and they also have a garden to explore as well. I’ve also heard from friends that they only spray once at the start of the year before the berries grow. I don’t know about you but I’m all for minimal chemicals on my food. We started picking early in the morning so the berries were still firm and we didn’t get scorched by the heat of the day.
Choose the Right Berries
The best berries for jam are ripe, not over ripe or mushy, but firm and red all over. I think that’s why I love picking berries myself. I can really control the quality and it’s fun to share with the family. We save money and really get to know how our food is grown and where it comes from. My kids like to be included in this process and because of the work involved, I think they enjoy the finished product so much more.
It’s best to set out everything you’ll need during the jam making process. Here’s a list of supplies that are needed:
-berries, sugar, butter and pectin (see instructions that comes with pectin for amounts)
-2 bowls (one for cleaning the berries and one for mashing the berries)
-Strainer for rising berries
-Jars and lids and rings
-Large canning pot for bath
-Large sauce pan for cooking jam
-Extra towels and washcloths for spills
2. Canning tongs
3. Canning funnel
4. Measuring cups for strawberries and sugar
5. Huller for removing the caps off the strawberry
Not shown but useful: ladle and metal spoon
Instructions can be found in your pectin box. I used Certo Pectin and have used other brands in the past as well.
-4 cups prepared strawberries (buy about 2 qt. fully ripe strawberries)
-7 cups sugar, measured into separate bowl
-1/2 tsp. butter or margarine (optional)
-1 pouch CERTO Fruit Pectin
Water canner, half-full with water, and simmer on stove.
Get Jars Ready
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.
Pour water and 2 Tablespoons of vinegar into a bowl. Allow dirt to settle at the bottom of the bowl.
Pour into Pot
Stir , add butter (optional) and cook on high heat till…
Bring to full rolling boil (a boil that doesn’t stop bubbling when stirred)
Add Pectin. Cook and stir for 1 minute.
Remove from heat and skim off excess foam with metal spoon.
Ladle immediately into prepared jars, filling to within 1/8 inch of tops. Wipe jar rims and threads.
Cover with 2-piece lids. Screw bands tightly.
Place jars on elevated rack in canner. Lower rack into canner. (Water must cover jars by 1 to 2 inches. ; bring water to gentle boil. Process 10 minutes.
Remove jars and place upright on towel to cool completely. After jars cool, check seals by pressing middle of lid with finger. (If lid springs back, lid is not sealed and refrigeration is necessary.)