Freezer Jam and Swiper

I never did my post on my first attempt at making my own jam. After scouring the internet for recipes and how to’s I kinda figured I just needed to jump in and do it. Plus I like the idea of making my own to use on the kids’ sandwiches rather than more processed store stuff. However, I’m not sure that it has any less sugar in it than the store bought kind. 😉 I opted for freezer jam because I was completely overwhelmed with the concept of trying to can anything. Eventually I want to figure that thing out as well, but it’s baby steps for me. 😉

Here’s what I used. Some ziplock containers that I think were 1/2 cup size. I wasn’t sure how quickly I’d got through them once they were opened, and I didn’t want it going to waste. Since I also have started using it in the homemade yogurt that I send with Stu for his lunch, I probably could have done larger containers, but these worked out fine.
I found this “real fruit pectin” at Wal-Mart near the canning stuff. I looked at different ones on amazon, but I’m pretty sure this one said “freezer jam” specifically on it somewhere, so that worked out well. I used the recipe that was conveniently on the inside of the label.
Sugar of course, without it the jam won’t “set” unless you use a special kind of… something besides pectin. Dunno, not an expert, at all!
And Strawberries, of course! They were on sale and just begging to be used in jam. Plus they smelled fabulous!
In fact they smelled SO fabulous that while I wasn’t looking some little swiper came into the kitchen and began to help herself. I was so amused by it, that I didn’t even rescue her from eating the stems, she chowed down on several, greens and all before I put an end to it because I was afraid I’d have nothing left for jam!
At one point she made a mess when she was trying to chew a huge strawberry in her little mouth and juice came squirting out. I asked her to clean it up so she got the dish towel and proceeded to “wipe” it up with her foot. I think someone has been watching mommy. 😉
Anyway, you smoosh up the berries with a potato masher…
…combine the pectin and sugar…
… add the sugar mix to the berries..
…and pour into your containers.
(make sure you dribble some on the counter for effect)
Then you wait for awhile 30-45 min or something to see if it “set.” And that part is magic because sometimes it’s all good and set and sometimes it’s just sauce, and there’s no rime or reason to it. Well, I suppose there is a reason, but I don’t know what it is. Anyway, my strawberry jam set up beautifully, and I popped these little babies into the freezer. The peach jam I tried did NOT set up, but I popped them into the freezer too, and it made a fantastic sauce to use on yogurt. The kids and the Hurb loved it!

So there you go! Now that pretty much all the good stuff is out of season you can just file this away for next year. 😉

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