One other thing that I wanted to talk about this week is strawberry jam! I did manage to get a batch of it made when strawberries were a good price. I love making jam. It gives me such a feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment to see my jars sitting there all sealed and ready to go when I am finished.
I know that a lot of people already make jam. So I thought that I would just give a few tips that I have learned over the years that I have been making jam.
* First of all, I have started chopping up or mashing my fruit in my food processor. I used to cut it up and then mash it with a potato masher. But, the food processor is so much faster. You just have to be careful to pulse it and only do that until it is in nice sized chunks because you want to have bits of fruit in your jam.
* Remember that if you want to have jam and not a fruit syrup, you put in the fruit, butter and pectin first and get it all boiling, then add the sugar all at once and bring to a boil again. I have made this mistake so many times, but I finally got it into my braid that this is why over the years we have had ice cream toppings instead of jam on occasion.
Really, jam keeps for a long time. We try to rotate it by age so we use the older jars first, but we have found some that we have overlooked that that has been a couple of years old, and it was perfectly fine. Sometimes it may discolor a little, but it tastes great!
When you skim, use a metal spoon and save the foam. I actually put my foam and any leftover jam that won't fill a jar into the crock in the picture above that I bought in Germany from the Waechtersbach Factory in Germany back in the '80's.. Then I put it in the fridge and we eat that jam first!
Oh! One last tip. I used to put cute lables on the jars, but they were a pain to take off after the jar was empty. (Always save and reuse your jars, they can be expensive.) So, now I use a sharpie and write the kind of jam and the date on the lid, because it will get thrown away anyway. (Do not reuse your lids!) If you really want something cute for giving away jars of jam, get the round kind that can fit on top of the lid.
I was going to put a delicious looking picture here of jam on my roll, but I ate it too fast! Hope these tips help!