Strawberry season is upon us! One of the best times of the year. It might be a bit early in some places for strawberries, but I keep hearing they are out there, I just haven’t had a chance to find some local berries myself. I wanted to get this post up before the season was over, even a bit early, so that this might prompt you to try this jam for yourself. Maybe this is a good Mother’s Day post – I grew up on this jam, my mom made it every summer from the strawberries my dad grew (and still does) in his garden. Actually, strawberries were a HUGE part of my growing up years. From the time I was very young, my dad had two fields of strawberries that he would grow, tend, and eventually pick and sell to local stores each year. I learned at a pretty young age how to walk among strawberry plants, pick them properly so they didn’t bruise (you pinch the stem, never touch the berry), and also that I hated picking berries 🙂 I find it amusing, now as an adult, how the rest of the world gets so excited to go “berry picking.” It’s kind of the “in thing” these days, getting back to local foods and picking produce yourself. Which, as you all know, I greatly applaud and think this shift is just what our families need. However, I still hate most any kind of berry picking! It’s a little too much like work for me 🙂
When I was about ten, my dad stopped selling strawberries, he mowed off the field (my mom, my sister and I cheered on the sidelines!) and we moved on to other things. Raising those strawberries paid for a lot of things growing up, but the most memorable was a two week trip through the western U.S. that fall after we mowed off the strawberries. We didn’t always have a lot of money, but my parents found a way for us to do things and have new experiences…a lot of times by their own hard work.
So I think strawberries have quite the special place in my heart, and strawberry jam as well. I really cannot eat store bought strawberry jam, it just doesn’t taste right. I think this homemade jam might be another comfort food for me – at least one that takes me back to carefree summers, picking warm strawberries out of the field, and buttered bread with jam on top.
If you haven’t yet made this yourself, give it a try. I think you will be pleasantly surprised at how easy it is to make. I typically make 3 batches and that gets us through the year, although 4 would probably be a better bet, especially as these boys of mine get older. They loooovvve strawberry jam! I guess I’m just passing the Snider strawberry gene along 🙂
Low Sugar Strawberry Freezer Jam
4 cups prepared strawberries (this is about 4 pints fully ripe strawberries. Crush them with a potato masher. I briefly pulse mine in my blender, but you don’t want them pureed, you still want chunks of berry)
3 cups sugar
1 box SURE-JELL for Less or No Sugar Needed Recipes
1 cup water