After little j's soccer game we dropped by the pick-your-own strawberry field and bought 8 1/2 pounds of strawberries. It sounds like a lot, but when you are out picking they really add up fast. We were probably only out there 15 minutes. little j didn't want to stop picking, and I don't blame her. It's addictive.
But when we came home with all those strawberries I realized that there was no way would eat that many before they went bad. Plus I had just made a strawberry rhubarb pie yesterday, so I thought we might get sick of them in a couple days.
So, I picked a few with long stems out to dip in chocolate and then measured out enough for 8 jars of strawberry jam. There is something incredibly satisfying about making your own jam. It doesn't take long and you only need a few key pieces of equipment: a large pot, a jar grabber, and a jar funnel. The rest can be improvised.
I used the recipe from the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving. The only change I made was to cut the sugar, and, in retrospect, I wish I would have cut back even more. The recipe called for 7 cups of sugar with 5 cups of mashed strawberries. I think I would use a cup of sugar for each cup of strawberries next time.
Regardless, it is still yummy and will be perfect on an English muffin or over a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Plus we still have about 3 pounds of strawberries left!