Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Homemade Strawberry Jelly.

I have never purchased strawberry (or grape) jelly or jam.  When I was a kid, my mom only bought strawberry or grape flavors.  I imagine those were cheapest - I haven't paid any attention to the prices because I never cared to purchase either of them.  Within the past few months, I've tried my hand at canning - pickles, peaches, and applesauce.  All were easy and all tasted great.  Last week I decided to take the girls to pick strawberries.  I knew they'd have fun and I wanted to make my own jelly so we'd have some to eat that didn't contain high fructose corn syrup.

We ended up with almost 25 lbs. of berries.  Using six of those pounds I made eight pints of jelly.  I canned them in small (4 oz. and 8 oz.) jars so there would be no waste.  Once you open a jar, it needs to be consumed in a few days.  Little did I know how good it would be.  We've already used it to cover ice cream, on toast for breakfast, and on PB&J for lunch.  It was very easy to make.  After I washed them in a little soap and cool water (recently saw a video about tiny little white bugs found on strawberries),
I sliced them.
Then I crushed them in this great little ricer we were gifted in Italy a few years ago.  Italians use this tool to crush tomatoes for pasta sauce.
I followed the Ball Blue Book recipe for strawberry jelly without pectin - added the sugar and let it boil for a good 40-50 minutes.
Finally, I filled my jars.  YUM!!
 Tomorrow, I'll do it all again because I have plenty of berries to preserve.  I wonder if I could use less sugar to make a strawberry sauce for ice cream??  Can't hurt to try.

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