Tea & Jam.

“Doubtless God could have made a better berry (than the strawberry),
but doubtless God never did…”

– William Allen Butler


Let the applause break forth. Let the Housewives celebrate. This momma has one more ‘accomplishment’ under her belt.
My BFF, Leanne, and I successfully made our very first batch of homemade strawberry jam …!!!


We took the littles out on Friday morning to a local strawberry farm and picked $51 worth of gorgeous, juicy fresh strawberries from the fields… the kids had a blast – and a great morning snack, too!


Strawberry picking in a field was actually my first official job way back when (I think I was 11 years old) and I absolutely hated it. It was so boring and hot. Amazing how now it’s a delightful outing for me!




Lyla insisted on bringing this white satin basket for her strawberry harvest. 




It is no longer white. 




Lacey and her awesome best friend, Dawson … Lacey looks so grown up in this image. Shortly afterwards, we discovered her *FIRST* wiggly tooth. My heart is breaking. She is so big now!



The kids were pretty helpful in picking the berries … until they ate a few a lot and spilled 1/2 on the way out to the car … 




the pickin’ crew … 




Thanks to the wisdom of Leanne, we decided to make jam the same day we picked the berries. Apparently, that’s the best way. So we picked, hulled, boiled, stirred and canned. 




… and two hours & fifteen lbs. of sugar later  (not literally – I think), we looked at each other and smiled and high fived with sticky strawberry-jam fingers … we did it! 




I must say, we were pretty darn proud of ourselves… (and we have to admit, we did call my mom and my gramma for some advice! I was so nervous we were going to mess it up!)


So now – it’s strawberry season … do you want the jam recipe? We used the certo/cooked jam recipe, although Leanne did try the freezer jam at the end, as well (I opted for cooked jam only, as that’s how my momma did it). 


Recipe for Strawberry Fun!

1) Gather some fun-lovin’ kids and head to the local strawberry farm.

2) Make sure you wear red. And get a coffee on the way.

3) Pick a berry, eat a berry, pick two berries, eat a berry (No, I did NOT do this …)

4) Fill your baskets to the brim.

5) Pay. 🙂 

6) Drive home quickly with the windows down,  singing a lovely summer tune. 

7)  Wash your jars & lids in hot, soapy water. Sterilize the jars. 

8 ) Stem and crush 3 3/4 cups of berries – this is a great step for kids to help! Lyla LOVED crushing the berries.

9) Measure out the crushed berries and add to a large pot, with 1/4 cup of lemon juice.

10) Measure 7 cups of sugar (yes, I know – scary) and add to the pot. 

11) Put the pot over high heat and bring to a full roiling boil, boil for one minute, stirring constantly. 

12) Take the pot off the stove and stir in the Certo liquid. 

13) Skim off the foam (if you want).

14) Let it set for quite a while (till you can see that the jam is settled and not going to pour out of the jar).

15) Pour in a bit of vinegar over the jam, letting the vinegar touch all of the jam at the top of the jar – this is in place of the wax seal. It’s a trick my mom and gramma taught us this weekend. Roll the vinegar around in the jar and then dump it out and screw on the lid.

16. Voila – done! Yummy, scrumptious homemade jam!

Now, go make some homemade scones or bread and slather that delicious jam on top and ENJOY your summer berry treat!

July 5, 2010 - 11:28 pm

Tabitha Love the photo of Lyla with the basket 😀 So cute!

June 27, 2010 - 8:52 pm

Rachel how fun! I can’t believe how much Dawson looks like Chais now!! He is getting so grown up! Love the photo of you all together 🙂

June 27, 2010 - 8:35 am

Tara YEAH Gillian! I spent so many summers with my mom and grandma making strawberry jam, I can remember my hands being stained red! Can’t wait to continue the tradition with Grace and Lily :).

June 26, 2010 - 11:27 pm

admin Jenn, too true! Great seeing you at the farm, as well! Are you going to make jam?
Mom, thanks for the tips AND for getting me the strawberry picking job all those years ago! LOL! I appreciate the hard work ethic!

June 26, 2010 - 11:02 pm

Mom Glad it was a fun day! A an awesome memory for all involved! Yes, I remember your first job, Gillian! Remember how mad you were when you sat on a strawberry and got a stain on your favourite shorts! LOL
Anyways, good job!! The jam looks wonderful and I am sure it will taste very yummy too!

June 26, 2010 - 11:00 pm

Jenn You forgot “dip some fresh bread into the jam skimmings and eat it while you work!”

We did the exact same thing after leaving the berry patch yesterday…I think I hulled my weight in strawberries yesterday!