April 2 is National Peanut butter and Jelly Day.
They say that the average American eats about 1,500 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches by the time they are 18. I have to think that may have been true in my day and perhaps even when my children were growing up (although I doubt it) but based on the eating habits of my grandchildren I don’t think that statistic is true today. The history of the sandwich apparently goes back to WWII when American soldiers created this tasty treat from their rations.
I absolutely love a good pb&j and still eat them to this day. Call it my comfort food but there is nothing quite like it!
In honor of this ‘holiday’ I decided to make some strawberry jam (well that and my fellow blogger, Simply Grateful Housewife, who is always canning something inspired me)! I jumped up early and headed off to the strawberry stand to get some fresh picked seconds. I don’t need the prettiest strawberries for my jam but I do like the freshest. Our area has many strawberry fields-we are now in prime strawberry season and the stands are abundant.
I hustled home with my score and started to clean my berries.
I got my supplies together,
pulled out my pots, washed my jars, and got them boiling…
…while I finished up getting the berries ready.
I used the recipe from the Ball Canning site.
You will need:
5 cups crushed strawberries (about 5 lbs)
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 6 Tbsp Ball® RealFruit™ Classic Pectin
- 7 cups granulated sugar
- 8 Ball® (8 oz) half pint glass preserving jars with lids and bands
- Prepare boiling water canner. Heat jars in simmering water until ready for use. Do not boil. Wash lids in warm soapy water and set bands aside.
- COMBINE strawberries and lemon juice in a 6- or 8-quart saucepan. Gradually stir in pectin. Bring mixture to a full rolling boil that can not be stirred down, over high heat, stirring constantly.
- ADD entire measure of sugar, stirring to dissolve. Return mixture to a full rolling boil. Boil hard 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Skim foam if necessary.
- LADLE hot jam into hot jars leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Wipe rim. Center lid on jar. Apply band until fit is fingertip tight.
- PROCESS in a boiling water canner for 10 minutes, adjusting for altitude. Remove jars and cool. Check lids for seal after 24 hours. Lid should not flex up and down when center is pressed.
So…then I had lunch.
If you haven’t had homemade jam, try it! It is so much better than what you find in the store. Maybe even cook up a batch of your own.