I love this time of year when the strawberries are in full bloom. I remember as a child attending a strawberry festival every year with my family. We would get a string on our wrist and this would entitle us to eat as many strawberry shortcakes as we could.
I thought it would be fitting to begin our Preservation Kitchen category with a simple and delicious strawberry jam. I like to dress these up with a red plaid cloth as a bonnet. To do this, simply trace the cap on the wrong the fabric. Leave a 4 inch margin around the circle and cut. Tie a ribbon around the lid to secure. Label the jars and enjoy. Jams make wonderful hostess gifts.
The best, always,
Place the strawberries in a bowl and use the back of a fork or a potato masher to crush the strawberries. Measure 4 1/2 cups of strawberries and transfer the strawberries and orange zest to a saucepan. Add the pectin to the strawberries mixture. Turn the heat to high and stir until the mixture is boiling. Please keep a loving on the strawberries. Add the sugar to the saucepan and bring the mixture to a boil again, stirring constantly. This step is very important. Remove the saucepan from the heat. With a spatula remove the white film if there is any. Pour the jam into half pint jar leaving 1/4 inch of space from the top. This will allow for expansion during the sterilization process. If you have a canning kettle use it for this step. If not, 4-5 dish towels on the bottom of a 1/s gallon pot. Please certain there is enough of a cushion for the jars. They will rattle when processing. Add the jars to the pot and add enough water to 2 inches above the lid. Bring the pot of water to a boil and process for 10 minutes. .