My fondest memory of my Grandmother Tessie was how much she loved her family, and I also loved her homemade strawberry jam. While we visited my Grandmother each year, we were welcomed with a home-cooked breakfast. Each morning, we could wake up to count on: bacon, sausage, grits, homemade biscuits, butter, and homemade strawberry jelly. I have always loved food and am particularly fond of a big breakfast and the star of Grandmother Tessie’s breakfast was her strawberry jam.
STRAWBERRY JAM AND BUTTER
My Grandpa Ford showed me how to mix butter and strawberry jelly together in just the right amounts to make a delicious topping for anything. We would take a fork and mash together the two ingredients and although it didn’t look very pretty, it had a heavenly taste. I’m pretty sure my eyes rolled back in my head with delight each time we concocted it. When I was in middle school, I learned Grandmother’s delicious jelly actually was made with figs. Since I didn’t know anything about a fig, I was a little shocked and turned off by my new knowledge. My ignorance quickly faded and I maintained my reverence of her strawberry jam.
Grandmother Tessie lived to be 97. She lived a long, loving and loved life, filled with a large family, and homegrown and homemade foods.
CHILDREN IN THE KITCHEN
I knew just the thing to do when I discovered an abundance of strawberries in my refrigerator. I rounded up my boys and we made homemade strawberry jam. My boys are always so excited to help us out in the kitchen. Their faces lit up and they are so delighted to get their hands on the food and assist. I call my boys my great little helpers often – and they truly are. They wash berries in the sink, cut off the stems, place berries in a bowl, squeeze lemon to make fresh juice, and dump in sugar, and vanilla extract from my pre-measured spoons and cups. They also stir it all together before I place it on the cooktop to simmer.
When your children assist you in the kitchen, it may take longer for the task to be completed, and your kitchen may get dirty. Yet, I believe the benefits of including your children in cooking preparation far outweighs the negatives. We can help you discover tips on how to get your children more involved in the kitchen.
- STRAWBERRY JAM: The recipe is super simple and super delicious! I hope you enjoy it as much as we all did.
SIMPLE, HOMEMADE STRAWBERRY JAM Ingredients: 2 pounds strawberries, sliced and stems removed Juice of one lemon Zest of half a lemon 2 cups sugar (raw cane sugar or coconut sugar - I'm going to try honey next!) 2.5 teaspoons fig balsamic vinegar (or plain balsamic vinegar) 1 tablespoon vanilla extract Combine all ingredients into a saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat and stir frequently. Reduce heat to a simmer and stir occasionally. Jam should be ready in about 60-90 minutes. It should be thick and jam-like. I stored my jam in a mason jar in the refrigerator. It should keep for a month. However, I don't think it will last that long!
This recipe is adapted from a Completely Delicious recipe. I use fig balsamic vinegar because it reminds me so much of my Grandmother’s homemade version. I also add lemon zest for brightness since a little extra lemon is almost always a welcome addition! If you try this jam recipe, please comment! I would love to hear how it turns out for you!