The fragrance of a hand-picked, perfectly ripe strawberry is enough to make you swoon.
We try to preserve that strawberry goodness for cold winter days, to comfort ourselves with biscuits, toast or peanut butter sandwiches.
Some friends love strawberry jam so much that they recently put up 71 jars in the freezer. It is a much-loved summer ritual for mom and the kids. They need a lot of jam because, on a typical day, this family of 6 can easily go through one half-pint jar in a single sitting.
When asked how long she expects this arsenal to last, my friend replied, “I hope until spring.”
My freezer isn’t very spacious, so a couple years ago I started making strawberry jam in the traditional, old-fashioned way, without pectin.
I did this primarily because I decided the old-fashioned style tastes better. It has a deeper, more concentrated strawberry flavor.
The other reason is that a package of pectin is yet one more thing to forget at the supermarket.
The “open kettle” or “long boil” method is neither difficult nor time consuming. I made three jars of strawberry jam in about one hour.