So, strawberry freezer jam. It was my first time making it. We picked strawberries at the farm on Saturday morning; people were getting off the hayride with enormous baskets of berries. I asked a few of them what they were going to do with them, and they said "Freezer jam!" and they looked really happy. So I thought I'd give it a try.
I just followed the recipe on the Sure-Jell box. Basically you crush up some fruit, add a WHOOOOOLE LOT of sugar (unless you use the special pectins that allow you to use less — next time I'll do this, now that I know), dissolve the pectin in boiling water, stir it all together, and put it in jars (except I think I was supposed to use plastic containers, but I didn't have any). Then store them in the refrigerator or freezer. That's as specific as I'm going to get, so please see the Sure-Jell web site for further information, and there are about a million bloggers out there who are making freezer jam these days. You really don't want further information from me because I am certainly no expert here. You don't even know if I have botulism ["botch"-ilism] yet from my jam.
My mother always made jelly, and my overriding memory of that is scorching hot summer weather, my mother painstakingly preparing pile after pile of fruit, big bulb-y bags of cheesecloth hanging off of cabinet-door handles for hours and hours, the admonitions not to touch them lest the jelly be cloudy (so you could not get in there to get a water glass, even though it was 90 degrees and not cloudy, the irony), much consternation about whether things had been sterilized properly/measured properly/boiled properly/sealed properly, my father worriedly coming into the kitchen to supervise the procedure (so you knew it was serious business). It seemed like one of those horrible things adults had to go through, and you just felt sorry for them, and tried to call as little attention to yourself as possible so no one would remember to enlist your help with any of it. I have a dramatic family, but still.
As an adult, not in a million bobillion years has it occurred to me to want to make jelly. It has gone on that list with reupholstering, starting seeds, and making pie crust from scratch, among other domestic-y things that I just say "Pass!" on, even though many other people seem to enjoy these things, or even insist that they really aren't that hard. My mother still makes jelly, so it must have just seemed brutal, but been worth it in the end. And I must say, however, that one of my few childhood taste-memories is of Mom's homemade ballet-pink blushy apple jelly, so it must have made some kind of positive impression on me. But I've still never had the urge to make jelly myself (preferring cinnamon on toast, as I do).
However, if you find yourself with too many strawberries (or almost any other kind of fruit), freezer jam is easy. And besides, if you have sticker paper (of course you do, 'cause it's awesome) from the office-supply store you can print out pretty labels, which . . . who doesn't love that? NOBODY.