Strawberry Jam

Jam_1I spent the last 2 weekends solo with each of my daughters and their friends.  One weekend was Emily and her 3 pals, the other was Jessica and her 3 pals.  Interesting conversations, watching all of the kids with each other.  All and all it was really a great thing. 

The one part which is something that I am totally unaccustomed to is the chauffeur part.  I took them to town and picked them up when they had completed their mission – shopping, dinner and a movie.  Each weekend was a bit different but they couldn’t get there without me.  I was happy to do it but I am not sure how happy I would be if I had to do that every weekend and all the time. 

One of the things I love about living in NYC is that once you hit a certain age, you’re on your own with cell phone in hand.  You learn to navigate the subway system, the roads you travel, how to get to and from a party, where to find the movie you want to see, etc.  It is a beautiful thing. 

So, what I did while hanging out waiting for the pick up is make strawberry jam.  The strawberries are unbelievable this year.  Big and delicious!  I went a bit crazy and made about 30 jars.  We are stocked.  Next on the agenda, blueberry and peach jam when the season arrives.

Making jam is pretty easy.  I use the gelatin recipe basically insuring that the jelly firms up.  5 cups of strawberries, smashed and heated up with 1/2 t. unsalted butter and a gelatin pack.  Bring this to boil.  Then add 7 cups of sugar.  The key here is really bringing this up to a rolling boil.  A true rolling boil is when the mixture boils (small bubbles on the surface) even when you are stirring.  When this happens stir for another minute and then you are done.  Ladle the jam into jelly jars.  Seal and put them in a water bath (boiling water) for another 10-15 minutes so they seal.

This year I used the basic Kerr jar and also new jars from Weck.  I really like the Weck jars because they are better looking.  It took me awhile to figure them out.  They are reusable which is a bonus.  They also come with plastic tops to use once they are open in the refrigerator.  I hope they sealed ok.  We will soon see.