30 June 2009

Strawberry Fields Forever

Still catching up...two weekends ago (on one of the very few non-rainy days we've had this June), Jason and our neighbors and I went to Russell Orchards. They were having a strawberry festival with strawberry picking and strawberry shortcake and strawberry wine tasting and music and face painting and balloon animals, oh my! It was the perfect day to slave away in the strawberry fields...not too hot, not too cold, gentle breeze, beautiful, bright red strawberries...So we picked and picked and picked until we had 4 quarts of berries. But what on earth were we to do with 4 quarts of berries? Make strawberry jam, of course!
So I washed and de-stemmed all the berries. Then Jason and I squished and squashed and squashed and squished enough strawberries for one batch of strawberry jam and one batch of strawberry lemon marmalade. Jason wasn't really a fan of getting his hands all sticky, but oh how I love the feeling of strawberries squishing between my fingers.The recipe calls for 5 cups of strawberries, one packet of Sure Jell, and 7 cups of sugar. It was so pretty swirling in the pot that I couldn't resist taking a picture.Once all the jam was cooked and jarred, Jason and I played a game of Ticket to Ride and listened for the pops. Every time a jar popped, I would get all excited and say, "Did you hear that?!?" Finally, Jason asked if I was going to ask him that every time a jar popped, and I said, "Yes. That's how it's done, Jason." You see, I am a 4th generation jelly maker. When my great grandmother Manya came to the US and opened up her tea house, she made her own jam. And the tradition has been passed down to her daughter and my mom and to me and my sisters. That sound of the jars popping as the lids seal ensures the preservation of the jam. But it also preserves a sweet and tasty tradition that I am proud to be a part of.Mmm...doesn't that look so scrumptious on my little jelly table? Don't you wish you had some homemade jam or marmalade to spread on your toast or your pb&j sandwich or some club crackers? Well, I figure if soulemama can do giveaways, then I can, too. So...if you would like a chance to win some, leave a comment specifying whether you want a jar of strawberry jam or strawberry lemon marmalade or a sample of both, and I will randomly select a winner by the end of the week. (Mom, Amy, Megan, I know you all make your own jam, but you're still welcome to enter to try some of mine.) Best of luck! I hope you are having a sweet, sticky, strawberry summer!


  1. OOooo!!! Ooooo!!! OoooooOOO!! PICK ME!!!

    I'm not from an amazingly talented line of women who know how to make jam (well, ok, actually, my grammas probably did, but I don't!) and I would LOVE to try some! Does it count that I was the first one to comment? Will it count if I comment every day? Every hour? Because I will if that's what it takes.

    But, *sigh*, random.... I never win random things. But maybe The Weekly Make will break my non-lucky streak. Because strawberry jam and strawberry lemon marmalade would make me so very happy.

    Oh, and yes, it does all look very impressive stacked on your table. Nice work.

  2. You're so cute to offer a giveaway! :o) I do love you, Robin! But I really think that the "random" pick should be Hannah. Love the jamming pictures!

  3. I don't know how that last comment came from JRod, but it's supposed to be from Amy. hmm.

  4. Wow! All those jars of jelly look quite impressive stacked up on your table! You are amazing, Robin....and filled with so many talents!

    Oh, and I found it funny that Jason didn't like getting his hands sticky. I have a sneaking suspicion that Dan would be the same way!

  5. Absolutely!! I would never pass up homemade strawberry jam : ) Will you teach me? ~Jill

  6. Dear Shaka,

    I WANT STRAWBERRY JAM!!!!!! I can't even remember the last time I saw a real strawberry plant and ate fresh berries. Oh, the joys of living in the city...

    Also, I'm getting excited to see you and Jason, even though it's still like 2 months away. We've gotten a bunch more people addicted to Munchkin, so we'll have to play a game or two.

    I'm going to call you soon. It will be sooner if you promise me jam. Just sayin.


  7. I WANT JAM!!! As a side note, I also want to visit you. But I really want JAM!! Yummy, yummy jam. Hand squished and squashed jam.


  8. The jam looks wonderful. I am very proud of you...but where in the world did that table come from? Is that part of the give away too?

  9. Thanks, everybody for commenting. I'm so excited that so many people are excited by my little jamming endeavor. :o)

    I found the table out by the dumpster. Somebody was actually throwing it away! Crazy, huh? I'm quite in love with it, so sorry about your luck, Mom; it is not part of the giveaway. :o)

  10. And Jill, sure! I would love to teach you! It's actually pretty easy. Maybe when the next berry season comes up, we can have a jamming night at my place!