Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Jam Session

Yesterday afternoon, I took a trip to the strawberry farm a few miles down the road from my house. I purchased three buckets of luscious fruit, colored the deepest red with perky green caps.
This morning found me in the kitchen preparing to make strawberry jam, one of my favorite things to do in the springtime. A trip under the house yielded enough quart jars for my needs.
Every jam making session starts the same way- a sinkfull of hot, soapy water so that I will have sparkling clean jars; a clean counter top; a pot of hot water for lids and rings and the canner on the boil for processing; the big enamel pot ready for mashing fruit and the Dutch oven waiting on the stove to cook the jam; a colander for washing the fruit and my little paring knife laid out ready to lop off the tops of the berries.
I love the process of jam-making. Preparing the fruit for cooking, measuring out the sugar, watching for the boil, readying the jars and ladling the hot jam into them. A rhythm develops quickly and the entire morning becomes a dance of swirls and dips.

I have used this spoon to stir my jam for many, many years. It was a gift from my friend, Cilla. She found it in a kitchen shop in Ipswich, England, not far from her parent's house. I love this spoon. It has a little peg that prevents it from falling into large pots, and is flat on the bottom so as to gather the jam up from the bottom in a quick sweep. Don't you think I need a nice wooden ladle to go with my spoon?

After spooning off the foam, I ladled the jam into the jars using this jelly funnel. I found it at an estate sale. It is made of porcelain and is the lovliest creamy white color. I can only imagine how many gallons of jam or jelly were poured through its opening. I hope it is happy with me using it now.

(I don't know about you, but I think the foam is the best part of jam-making! I always make toast, spread it with Irish butter and spoon on the foamy bits. A little treat for the cook!)

I succeeded in making six quarts of ruby-colored jam, plus two half-pints for gifts. I am always a bit impatient when it comes to letting it set, so I made sure to put some in the refrigerator in a bowl so I can have some tonight.
I believe that I can sum up my morning's work in one word- Bliss. Strawberry bliss.
Okay, that's two words.


The Feathered Nest said...

Yummy Karin! Your jam looks amazing!! I'm so very proud of you sweetie ~ I bought my MaryJane's Farm magazine today and LOVE IT! And love your beautiful pinkeep and your photo and feature ~ I've got to blog about it, I'll be sure to link to you too!! xxoo, Dawn

Utah Grammie said...

Hmmmm, your description is so spot-on that I can almost taste it on my Daddy's home made bread! Enjoy every little taste, OK?

Charmingdesigns said...

Oh how I love strawberry jam!! I cant wait until it is strawberry season.Laurie

meg said...

Beautiful! (And my personal favorite ;-D )

GardenGoose said...

oh yum. love strawberries!

GardenGoose said...

thanks so much for having been a part of the blog a thon.

amy said...

oh, karin! you make me want to make jam! that looks so yummy! what is the name of the farm? i would love to go.

Senior Bowler-Carolyn said...

So very pretty...reminds me of my grandmother putting up blackberries. Us kids would pick all day and MAMA THOMAs would put it up in big old jars. She would just cook it and leave lot sof juice and berries in and we ate it with the biggest homemade biscuits I have ever seems in my life......soooo goood

Anonymous said...

The strawberry jam looks delicious. Now all you need is a hot buttered homemade biscuit to go with it.

Maryjane - The Beehive Cottage said...

Oh Karin, I bet your home smelled so good while canning and lingered there for hours! Your jars look so pretty! Hugs, Maryjane

Fete et Fleur said...

How perfectly lovely! There's nothing better than homemade jam on a fresh hot scone!


Sugarplum Cottage said...

I love to make jam too, it's the process that I like and to see the finished results. Your looks yummy, Have you ever made freezer jam? As always I love your post.
Blessings, Rosemarie

Anne Fannie said...

Hi Karin, your homemade jam looks so delicious! Oh, homemade jam on fresh homemade bread in the morning.....mmmmm! Also, I saw your picture and lovely item in Maryjane's Farm magazine. You go girl!!!
Love, Ann

Anne Fannie said...

Oh, PS: I am still dreaming about your adorable "Omelet House" Chicken Coop.
Love, Ann

Lea of Farmhouse*Blessings said...

There's just nothing prettier than a shelf lined with sparkling jars of homemade jam. You're right ~ bliss is a perfect description!