Berry/Cherry Picking & Strawberry Jam

So last Monday M and I went to the strawberry patch to pick strawberries with our neighbors!  I haven’t been strawberry picking since I was a little girl and it was M’s first time so it was a lot of fun!  Because of the weather here this year the strawberries were a little smaller than normal and kinda hit or miss on super yummy flavor, but let me tell you, fresh picked strawberries are SO MUCH BETTER than store bought!!!!  It was a little difficult for M to find them hidden under the leaves and weeds, but after a little while she got the hang of it and contributed her very own harvest to our basket (I should mention that several weren’t quite ripe or were too small to have picked… oh well, she tried, right?!)

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After we picked our fair share of strawberries, we discovered that the cherry trees were at the perfect time for picking as well… When in Rome…

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These particular cherries were really tart and perfect for baking with.  Now I’m not a huge fan of cherry pie, well actually any pie for that matter, but I do like cobblers and crisps.  My neighbor used the cherries that she picked in an awesome fresh cherry cobbler recipe so my plan is to do the same!  I’m going to make it for our 4th of July BBQ next week so I decided to freeze my cherries so they wouldn’t go bad.  (Are you wondering how to freeze fresh cherries???  It’s super duper easy!  All you do is pit them and then put them in a freezer bag and pop ’em in the freezer!  Now you can have fresh cherries all year round!)  Stay tuned for my cherry cobbler recipe next week!!

So, back to the strawberries… here’s what we ended up with:

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What does one do with all those strawberries???  Why you make homemade strawberry jam of course!  Are you ready for the recipe?

What you’ll need:

  • Twice as much strawberries as sugar (I used 2 cups of mashed strawberries)
  • Half as much sugar as strawberries (Therefore I used 1 cup of sugar)
  • The juice from 1 lemon

What to do:

  • Cut the stems/leaves off the berries and heat them in a large saucepan over medium high heat
  • When the start to get mushy, smash them with a fork to break them down/mash them

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  • Do this with as many strawberries as it takes to get 2 cups of mashed berries
  • Add juice lemon juice and bring to a boil

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  • After strawberries come to a boil, reduce heat to low and stir in 1 cup of sugar

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  • Simmer for at least 45 minutes or until mixture starts to thicken.  You can test the consistency by putting a little bit on a cold plate (right out of the freezer) and checking to see if it sets up like jam.
  • Allow to cool before pouring into a jar.  Store in the refrigerator or process in a water bath to store in the pantry.  Enjoy!

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