Homemade Freezer Jam
My family doesn't eat store bought jam. It's not because we're jam snobs, but because years ago I began making my own strawberry freezer jam, and simply ruined my family from ever wanting the store bought stuff. They will tolerate it, but prefer the homemade version. The only store bought jelly I like is grape (and that's probably because I haven't tried someones homemade version).
I don't know what it is, but there's just something about homemade that tastes better.
This morning in approximately one hour, I'm heading down to one of our local farms to pick up my berries. 7 flats to be exact (well 10, but 3 are for some friends). I will do about 1-2 worth of jam, and the remaining berries will be sliced, bagged and frozen to be used in smoothies, on crepes, or however else we see fit.
It is quite the process and sometimes when I think of the cost (because I don't grow my own) I gasp, but then I think about how much we enjoy them throughout the year and how I'd probably spend that much anyways on store bought jam that is laden with preservatives, and fresh berries that are highly over priced. One day I hope to grow some of my own.
I really like using Sure-Jell pectin. I've tried several varieties, but this still remains my fave! MCP requires me to use Corn Syrup in my freezer jam, and I'd prefer not to. The liquid kind was just different, so I stick with what I like best. You'd think that after years of making jam I'd have it down as to how many pints I could get out of a flat...I don't. In the past I've kept track on a note card. On it I'd write the year, how many flats I got, how much they cost, and how much jam and sliced berries I got out of them. I forgot to do this last year, but it is very helpful and I will do it this year for sure. It's amazing to me how much the price of berries goes up. Yikes. I found a card from several years ago where I purchased them for $7 a flat. This year because I'm buying 10, I get them for $13 a flat instead of $17 a flat. I thanked the farm people for letting me know that if I bought 10 instead of 7 I'd get a wholesale rate. Works for me and I found 3 friends to buy the extra 3 flats.
Do you like making jam or jelly? Freezer or cooked? I'd love to try some other versions, but my family pretty much likes strawberry.
I managed to "throw my garden" in yesterday. I say "throw" because I didn't really make rows, just put stuff where I felt like it. We'll see what happens. Over the course of the next several days, I hope to plant my dahlias ( I know I needed to plant them long before now, but just couldn't get the weather to cooperate with me) and a few containers. I'd still like to plant some flowers because I just love fresh flowers.
With Joy UNquenchable,