Strawberry Jam – I am!

Yesterday was a big day for jam making at Seven Oaks. I experimented with two batches, making them both without pectin but with different amounts of sugar. It is appalling how much sugar one is instructed to dump into jam making! The first batch used 4 cups of crushed berries with 4 cups sugar and the second used 4.9 pounds of berries with 4 cups sugar. (Weighing is going to be my tool of the future since it is faster and more dependable than measuring.) To both batches I added the juice of one lemon. The first batch made 5 half pints and 1 quarter pint jars. The second batch made 8 half pints and 1 quarter pint. I probably could have added more sugar to the second batch but as long as it sets up, I’ll be quite happy!

Here are the washed, hulled, sliced berries ready to smash.

IMG_4258Here they are smashed.

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A boiling mess of hot jam, ready for the jars!

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And then of course, the smiling results!

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Next: an experiment using sugar AND pectin!

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Strawberries!!!

We have picked over 100 pounds of strawberries this season and it is still very early in June! The recent rainy weather has done a number on the crop production in several ways. 2.5 inches recently meant not only that we could not get into the patch to pick but also that fruit got battered down and in some cases sat in damp locations. The tips of some gorgeous fruit started to rot which just breaks my heart!
Anyway, the crop is still considered “bumper” status to us since we now realize we have to buy an additional freezer to accommodate all the fruit!

I’m processing (freezing) as fast as I can but we are also distracted with other outdoor projects this time of year! All the rain means the grass needs to be mowed more regularly and often. We are also still struggling to get the spring planting done! So much to do, so little time!

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