Friday, May 8, 2009

Channeling my inner June Cleaver


A few weeks ago, I made a bargain with my friend, Maren. I told her that if she would teach me how to make jam, I would teach her how to make homemade chicken noodle soup.

Gabi has posted about the four-generation family recipe for chicken noodle soup here, which I now consider to be a large portion of Hannah's future dowry. I might have married the Husband for this recipe alone, had I known.

It is the same recipe I faithfully use, and it is truly amazing. My favorite part is actually using half an egg shell to measure the milk for the noodles. Something about that just seems so old-fashioned, so earthy.

What? I can be earthy. I can be old fashioned.

Shut up.

ANYway, I urge you to take advantage of the season, head out, and get yourself some strawberries, sugar, pectin, and jars. Because the joy of taking this:



While remembering to do a little bit of this:

And laughing with someone while they do this:


Will ultimately net you a large batch of this:

Pure, red, sugary heaven.

Which, by the way, I have had to ration. The little (and big) people around here seem to think they can have jam on just about everything. It's killing me how fast we're going through this stuff. I feel like I need to stash it safely away from their grubby mitts and growling stomachs.

I decided to hide the rest in the freezer under the vegetables. We all KNOW the children will never look there.

Neither will the Husband.

So, without further rambling on my part, I give you the recipe:

FREEZER JAM
3 cups mashed berries
5 cups sugar (I know, don't even say it, Robyn)
1 cup water
1 box pectin

Wash and stem the berries. Mash by hand (or in a blender if you're lazy like us). Stir sugar into berries and let sit for 20 minutes.

In the meantime, add pectin to water and stir until dissolved. Bring water and pectin to a boil, and boil for one full minute. Add water and pectin to berry mixture; stir until combined. Pour into clean, dry jam jars, leaving a little head room at the top. Cover with lids. Let jam jars sit on your counter for 24 hours, then store in the freezer.

Or until your piggy little munchkins get a hold of some and practically eat it by the spoonfuls.

Also critical to the success of the recipe is having some warm, soft, homemade bread handy. It helps you ensure that your blood sugar will remain in a constant diabetic state for at least a week straight.

Which any good jam really ought to do.

37 comments:

Aubrey said...

Sounds like a good plan. I'm tempted to try canning by myself. And making bread. I put my pioneer ancestors to shame.

queenieweenie said...

Oh have mercy!

Now I'm hungry-crap.

Becky said...

Yummo! I have wanted to do this. And now I can. Thanks a lot!

♥Shally said...

YUM.

I am so doing this!!

Jeanelle said...

Homemade jam reminds me of my mom. She made it every summer and we didn't get to be lazy: we had to chop the berries using a former planter's peanut can (which I think she still has!) I think I'll call mom and tell her I want that can after she dies. ;)

Anna said...

I'm definitely going to make this. My sweet Emma is going to help me. And she will have fun and a big smile on her face while she helps. Luv ya.

Alissa said...

now you just need some pearls and a sexy apron.

Travelin'Oma said...

Now which kid is the Beav?

Laurel @ Ducks in a Row said...

I LOOOOOVe freezer strawberry jam. Sounds delicious!

Jen said...

Drooling. My husband's coworker gave us a jar of homemade jam a year ago and I'm trying to figure out how to ask for another jar or 2 or 3. I guess I can make my own now. Thanks for sharing!

Carly said...

So i remember reading about your "haircut from hell" and I must say I think your hair looks really cute.

Laurie said...

Love freezer jam, but I've put off making recently since my kids refuse to eat it! Weirdos.

diane said...

My sisters got all the domestic genes. I only got the fashion jeans, I mean genes.

Rosie said...

I love freezer jam! And I KNOW it's goin' on homemade bread.

P.S. Your hair looks awesome in that picture of you.

utmomof 5 said...

I just did this a few weeks ago. I made 4 bathces of it. We have gone through about 1/3 of it. My kids look for any excuse to have strawberry jam. Okay, I do too :)

marta said...

i can't wait to make this, stie. thanks for the secret recipe. mmmm. sugary strawberry love. mmmmm.

Terra said...

I swear this is something every mom should do at least once, that and make pickles.

I haven't yet...but it is in the summer plan (no berries in CO yet)

momy4him said...

oh yum!! my mil makes this for us every summer cuz i'm lazy. but love it on everything too!

Ilene said...

I think jam can only be made with a friend. Not only is the jam delicious but the memory of making it adds to its sweetness.

I know, corny comment but its how I feel.

Ilene said...

I think jam can only be made with a friend. Not only is the jam delicious but the memory of making it adds to its sweetness.

I know, corny comment but its how I feel.

Annemarie said...

Why oh why did I read this at 10:30pm??? I'm NEEDING a warm roll with homemade jam. Right.Now. That even sounds better than chocolate.

Bonnie said...

The jam looks yummy, but the "sweetest" part is you and your friend spending time together and making a nice memory.

melissa ( : said...

Oh how I wish you girls had waited one week, just one more week, and I could have learned with you!
I learn best by doing.
Oh well, maybe Maren will give me a jar or two to take home.

Lauren in GA said...

Oh, this post was a true public service, Christie.

The chicken noodle soup recipe AND the jam recipe...totally serendipitous.

I mean, I may, infact, slip into a diabetic coma...but, oh baby...what a way to go.

Lauren in GA said...

By the way...you have beautiful eyes. The strawberry about to be devoured really brings out how blue, big and vibrant they are.

Woman Interrupted said...

"My what beautiful jars you have; I mean eyes..." (C'mon Lauren in GA, leave her stash alone.)

One question, and I will check back because I'm tempted to try this...how many little jars will I fill with this recipe? 5 cups of crack huh?!

Bridget said...

Making strawberry jam is one of my favorite parts of summer here in Oregon. I dare say our berries are the best. Every year I try to make enough to last until the next summer but invariably we run out around March and I am CRAVING it now.

gab said...

I had to FORCE three of my kids to finish their homemade chicken noodle soup at lunch today. Ingrates.

They would love the jam though. Mmmmm...berries are gonna be ripe this month! Happy Mother's Day, Stie!!

Dalene said...

I love Maren - but she looks a bit sleep-deprived!

Chatter said...

I have bought over 25lbs of strawberries with the intention of making jam. We either eat them or I've just washed and thrown them in the freezer for smoothies. It's much cheaper to buy them fresh and freeze them then buy them in the frozen section. The strawberries are heavenly right now and I really want to get jam made soon. I have 16 jars on my counter waiting to be used. Soon enough...
Enjoy :)

Diane said...

I've been thinking about making jam. Thanks for posting this...I just might give it a try!

Musings of a Housewife said...

Ahhhh... homemade strawberry jam. I SO want some of that. On top of a bagel with cream cheese.

And your hair cut is SO CUTE. I want your bangs.

♥Maren said...

Nice Picture.

annette said...

What a small world! I was just lurking on Celia Fae's blog which took me to your blog for the first time. Then I noticed 170 people commented, so I thought, "Wow! She must be a good read." And I read on and yes you are! And then the added bonus. Who should appear, but our dear friend Maren who my husband grew up with and we still send Christmas cards to every year. Very cool!!! Tell her hello from Annette and Loren, would you? And nothing is better than homemade jam. Fun.

crystal said...

Funny, I channel my Inner Stie.

We all have our standards to reach for, I suppose.

I think of you everytime I get the OCD cleaning urge. (you don't, by chance however, wear heels a la June Cleaver when you clean?...")

Please, for the love of all that's holy, say no.

crystal said...

HA! I just clicked back on your blog page and read that it's critical to have some "warm, homemade brandy"

INSTEAD OF what you actually had written:

"critical to the success of the recipe is having some warm, soft, homemade bread handy."

Oops! *burp*

Robyn said...

Ha ha! I didn't realize the first time I read this post that you referenced me with the sugar. I just came back to get the recipe...ha ha...I guess the sugar fast didn't really work out (or even ever really start). I'm making freezer jam with my friend who's on bed-rest tomorrow. Thanks for the yummy, sugary recipe!