A Strawberry ‘Jam’

I made strawberry jam for the first time a few days ago; or, twas a close attempt, anyhow.  First times are often lucky, but this one may have been a rightful failed first experiment.  Well, perhaps not a failure in every sense of the word – it has its charms.  It looks like strawberry jam…after a few hours of refrigeration, it jellies up quite nicely…

It’s certainly a ripe shade of strawberry pink – one of my all-time favorite crayon colors; and it tastes almost like a fresh spread of strawberry…aside from the slight, funny after-taste…

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But at the end of the day, it was jam made with love and the best intentions.

Since I don’t own a canning system, I took tips from the great wide web and decided to take my chances by boiling lids and running jars in a dry-heat wash.  I’m almost certain the jam’s sealed – though I might be mistaken?  How does one tell other than twisting and hearing the ever-promising pop of freshness?

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I used this recipe – http://leighannmarquiss.com/2011/06/canned-strawberry-jam-without-a-canner/ – for inspiration.  I more or less followed these ladies’ strawberry jamming process, aside from one change – I tried using stevia instead of regular sugar.  Of course, that calls for changes in proportions (strawberries, water, and substitute) according to the Sure-Jell recipe packet.  I made the change, mostly because I wanted to send a jar to my T.T. (my grandmother by any other name), who has diabetes.  So, I chopped a bowlful of berries – 3 quarts, to be exact…

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And mashed with a pastry cutter…

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Then I transferred the bowlful to a large pot, added 3/4 cup of water and the entire packet of Sure-Jell, and waited for the boil action to begin…

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My fingers were not really so golden, but when I altered the color of the picture, this effect came out and it reminded me of Willy Wonka’s golden chocolate goose eggs…and I kind of like the idea of having golden chocolate fingers, stirring up all sorts of lovely concoctions in the kitchen.

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The berry mixture boiled for exactly one minute while I stirred like a witch gone wild; then, in went the stevia, and the four-handed process began – removing jars from the dishwasher; pouring in steamy jam-to-be; removing lids from the boiling pan; and clamping the lids on tight (making sure to clean the rim of the jar).

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Upside down to cool, before being packaged and shipped off to those near to my heart but not so near to my backyard.  My Florida-based T.T., mama, and sister each got a prettied-up jar, and one went out to my brother and his girlfriend in Georgia.

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I have two extra jars in my refrigerator.  I suppose if the jam is not quite right for toast, the receiving  jammers  could try it in the midst of butter thumbprint cookies; or, perhaps heated on top of ice cream (with whip cream, and sliced bananas, and dark chocolate chips, and, and –  any other ice-cream accoutrement of your fancy!)

I will have to give the jam-venture another try, maybe next time using the real deal i.e. the white sugar.  Perhaps that chemical combination had something to do with the consistency.

But at the end of the day, the majestic sunset over the pond across the road made over any discontent I felt with my first-time jamming attempts…

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All it takes is one beautiful sky…

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Royal skies, purple to gold…

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And a walk under the arbor, to see where it leads…dreams aplenty 🙂

Love and Learn,

L

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