Sunday, June 13, 2010

Strawberries Are The Jam!

Last year we prepared an 8'x4' just for strawberries.  They are June bearing sweet beautiful tasty berries.  They started ripening about two weeks ago, and the kids have been snacking.  Athena is especially fond of using a knife (very exciting) to cut them into minute pieces and eat them out of a bowl. Unfortunately we don't really have enough at this point to let them snack at will.  My oldest will happily eat a green strawberry, so she can clear a crop faster than a murder of crows.  We do have a couple of patches of wild strawberries where they have free range. We hope to plant more June bearers and ever bearers in the future.  But for now, this is what we have and a couple of days ago I had enough to make twelve jars of jam! I am also freezing the berries whole to use in smoothies.  I think that we will probably end up going to a pick your own and getting a bunch for freezing and jamming this week. 
We had about 8 cups mashed which was enough for a double batch..  I use Pomona's which is activated by calcium and so you don't need a lot (or any) sugar to make the jam jam.  (Sorry, I can't seem to help myself). I use the inversion method to seal the jars.  It's my understanding that this means I can't enter my jam j-ahem-in any fairs or contests?  I guess this has something to do with bacterial. But I have seen old pros use this method and I can't bear the thought if boiling them again! However, after double checking my facts just now, I am adequately paranoid* and will probably process them in a water bath, given that we give a lot of jams away as gifts. 

*When the inversion process does work, the vacuum seals of filled jars still tend to be weaker than those produced by a short boiling water canning process. A weak seal is more likely to fail during storage. In addition, the headspace of the jar may retain enough oxygen to allow some mold growth if airborne molds contaminated the surface of the product as the jar was filled and closed. More complete removal of oxygen from the headspace also offers some longer protection from undesirable color and flavor changes with some types of fruit products.

No comments:

Post a Comment