When I first visited my husband’s grandmother, she plopped me down at the kitchen table and introduced me to the most delicious jam I had ever tasted in my life.
Fresh, vibrant strawberry jam atop of a warm and yeasty roll and I knew that my taste buds would never be the same.
It took me to go through college, marriage, and the birth of my first daughter, but one rainy afternoon I finally made my way back to her kitchen, where she taught me the secret to making the world’s most delicious jam.
And I’ve never missed a year making it since.
Although the recipe for making the jam actually isn’t hard at all, I just love the tradition that started with two generations ago and has continued with my children. Every year, we gather in my mom’s kitchen (because it’s bigger, of course), with the newest baby tagging along for a jam-making extravaganza.
We buy local strawberries, which always have the best flavor and color and set up our assembly line. Washing, hulling, smashing, mixing, and boiling—it all goes relatively quickly when the whole family is on board.
Except for the little hands that can’t stay out of the fresh strawberries, of course.
But those always taste the best, don’t they?
If you are thinking about starting your own summer strawberry jam tradition, try these tips:
- Buy local strawberries for the freshest flavor and taste
- Use the freezer jam recipe—no canning involved and it’s a fool-proof recipe!
- Measure the sugar and the mashed strawberries as precisely as possible for the best jam
- Little hands make great strawberry mashers
- Make the jam while strawberries are in season—mid to late June is the best time, or check with your local growers
- Start collecting jars early on to save even more money–old spaghetti jars, salsa jars, store-bought jelly jars, etc.
Does your family make homemade jam?