As we drove to Madison last weekend for a family reunion, we passed sign after sign touting fresh strawberries.  Oh the sirens’ song!  Friday seemed to be our only unscheduled time for the weekend, so I suggested that we go strawberry picking.  We were joined by Brad’s sister, her husband and their two kids.  A fun, summer activity with family.

Then the rain started.  The brief moments it let up, the kids dashed out to pick “just a few more”.  We were all pretty drenched by the time we left.

Even after eating and sharing our bounty all weekend, we still managed to bring home enough for a batch of freezer jam.  The whole process was quick and easy.  Lizzie helped mash the strawberries with the potato masher.   I hadn’t made jam before, so  I just used the recipe from the Sure Jell For Less or No-Sugar Needed Recipes.  It is true that the recipe calls for less sugar than the recipe with “regular” pectin, but holy buckets, there is still plenty.  Four cups of strawberries and 3 cups of sugar!  I used plastic containers as recommended in the recipe.  I would prefer glass, but the plastic containers were readily available and I couldn’t find lids for our pint and 1/2 pint canning jars.

2 of 6 cups

2 of 6 cups

So far, everyone has given it a thumbs up.  How could you not, with all that sugar?

I’m thinking about going strawberry picking again this week.  Or maybe raspberry picking.

I have already started researching different jam/preserve recipes.  I really would like to avoid all that sugar next time.  I’ve found a couple recipes that use agar flakes instead of pectin and honey instead of sugar.  There is also a different kind of pectin that doesn’t require all the sugar to set.  Here I go, down the rabbit hole…..