After hearing that the strawberry patch where I grew up was closing, I felt the urge to go pick strawberries. No….not, pick them out from the store, but actually pick them. So I missed the season in Lafayette, missed the season in The Region, and finally got to pick little mouthfuls of joy in Michigan. I forced Workaholic out of bed around 11am to go to the strawberry patch down the road a’piece. I was fully planning on only picking a quart or two, but there was just so many! We picked and picked until we got roughly 8 lbs. Which I promptly left on the porch when we left to go home. Thankfully, my in-laws stayed a bit longer than us, and brought home my now almost-rotting strawberries. I made an executive decision…I was to make jam. Or jelly. I am not sure of the difference.
I e-mailed my aunt, since she was inspiration for the picking in the first place, expecting some long, drawn-out recipe that was handed down for generations. It would be complicated, and include directions like, “Add a splish and a splash of (insert ingredient of I have never heard of) and mash with your fingers until mushy. Let sit for days until you forget about it and then throw away, because it probably would’ve sucked anyway.” I am fairly certain that the recipe I got was handed down for generations; I am guessing my whole family uses Sure-Jell. So I made this stuff called freezer jam…which is super easy, has 3 ingredients, (4 if you count water) and takes all of about 10 minutes to make. Smash berries, add sugar, add water and Sure-Jell, mix. Pour into plastic container, (which were so handily stocked right next to the Sure-Jell at the grocery store), and let sit for 24 hours. Then freeze, or refrigerate, whatever floats your boat.
I now am in possession of 10 cups of strawberry jam, which is good for a year, that I have no idea what I am going to do with. I am pretty sure that I didn’t follow the directions when it said to “measure exact amounts of sugar, scrape a knife across the top of the measuring cup, as any difference will affect the ability of jam to set.” So it will probably suck anyway, I’ll just take a year to figure that out. So family? Watch out. You will be forcefully forced to take one cup of strawberry freezer jam, and then tell me that you loved it, and can’t wait until next year when I make more. Friends? As I need you, if you dare, you may have one cup. (family can’t disown you for food poisoning, friends can and will drop you) But I still expect a lie of how wonderful it is.