Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Jam Time

A couple weeks ago, I finally got around to making jam. I had two, 24 oz tubs of strawberries in our freezer that we'd bought last minute to keep some meat cold on a flight back home. We aren't allowed to use ice, so I typically buy those frozen juice cartons to tuck in there with the cold stuff. If it thaws some, it's no big deal to refreeze it, and they are small and light enough that they don't affect the weight allowance too much. That day, though, we'd gone to a different store than normal and discovered they only have juice cartons in the refrigerator case. So, I grabbed the strawberries instead, then we rushed to the airport.

Problem is, we really don't use an entire tub of strawberries on anything. So, they sat in our freezer for a couple of months unused. Then we ran out of jam. I only buy jam in the States because everything here is sweetened with corn syrup. Not only do I find it unhealthy, but no one likes to eat the stuff now that we've lost the taste for it. I can get frozen fruit here, even if it's a little on the expensive side ($3.95 for a 12 oz package is what I paid yesterday for some blueberries). Then, I remembered the tubs of strawberries.

To make a long story short, I thawed them, added two cups of raw sugar (the recipe I was using called for twice that amount, but the strawberries already had sugar in them so I was guessing on how much to use), squeezed a fresh lemon into it, and boiled it down into some jam. Here was the end result:

I reused the jam jars I had from buying jam from someone here, then put the rest into the freezer containers stacked next to them. They are sitting upside down here because I'd read that leaving them upside down for a half hour or so after filling the jars keeps them mold-free much longer. Who knows if that's true, but I tried it anyway.

In terms of mold, I needn't have worried. Two weeks later, we're going through the third jar. Wyatt has declared it "the best jam ever", and keeps telling me I need to make more when we are done with this stuff. Peanut and butter sandwiches are suddenly back in vogue. I should have done this months ago when they stopped eating them! They are so much easier to make than ham and cheese.

I'm glad the jam was a hit. Unfortunately, the pickles weren't as big a hit. Oscar really likes them, and I think they are okay, but neither Wyatt or Oliver will eat them. Can you tell who the picky eaters in the house are?

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