I've had a few emails/comments about the strawberry jam making post. So, here's the recipe for the strawberry jam that Katie Anne and I made. (Jelly? Preserves? I don't know, but I think it is jam. It isn't made from the juice, which is what I think makes a jelly, but it doesn't have whole fruit pieces in it, which is what I think makes a preserve. So, jam then.) I put this recipe together from a bunch of different ideas that I read online.
This actually isn't too kid-friendly because a lot of it involves high temperatures, and I'm still sporting a nasty burn (which looks like a big old mole - ewww= - because it is part blister, part scab) on the back of my right hand from hot jelly popping up and burning me. So, I noted the parts Katie Anne helped with for people who want to make this with kids.
1. Katie Anne job: Wash all strawberries.
2. Mom job: Trim off stems.
3. Katie Anne job: Put strawberries into the food processor and pulverize into a pulp.
4. Katie Anne job (but she got bored): Juice several fresh lemons.
Mom jobs from here on out ...
5. Measure strawberry pulp (we had seven cups) and pour into very large, heavy-bottomed pot (largest you've got because the boiling gets crazy).
6. For every 4 cups of strawberry pulp, add 0.25 cups of lemon juice (I added 0.5 cups, which was three lemons' worth).
7. Add sugar at a 1-to-1 ratio to the strawberry pulp (I couldn't stand the thought of putting 7 cups of sugar in this, so I just went with 6 and thought it was plenty sweet enough).
8. Add a hefty sprinkle of salt (I used kosher).
9. Turn the heat up high, and get the pot boiling. A huge, rolling boil... so much boiling that it cannot be stirred down, and it gets dangerously close to spewing molten hot sticky strawberry sugar goo all over your stove... that's what you're looking for here. Once you get to that stage, start the timer for 15 minutes and don't leave the pot's side. Stir frequently.
10. After 15 minutes (or once your mixture reaches 220 degrees Fahrenheit on a candy thermometer), do a test. Put a smear of jam on a cold plate (I put my plate in the freezer for a few minutes) and draw a line through it with your finger. If the line doesn't close (the two sides don't run back together), you're good to go. Mine did run back together, so I boiled mine for an additional 3 minutes.
11. Ladle the scalding hot jam into super-clean canning jars, leaving 0.5 inch headspace at the top. Put the lids and rings on tightly, but be careful because that glass is intensely hot.
12. With lids on super-tight, turn jars upside down on a towel for a few minutes, then transfer (still upside down) into the freezer or fridge for a few hours to cool and set. If your mixture was hot enough when it was put into jars, this upside-down trick will set the jar lids without the whole water bath process! (I still wouldn't trust this processing method in the pantry for months, but it does make an airtight seal.)
And. that's it! Yum yum! Our 7 cups of pulp made 6 small Mason jars full of jam, plus three little ramekins full.