Strawberry Jam

If you are lucky enough to get your hands on some unsprayed strawberries then turning them into strawberry jam is a must. One of my favourite smells in the world would have to be the smell of strawberry jam bubbling on the stove. As a child, my parents had half an acre of strawberries growing, which they supplied to the local shops. Summer had truly arrived when strawberries started to accompany every meal, even though I use to tire of them it never turned me off strawberries and that smell of hot jam always brings me back to my childhood summers.

We now have 70 strawberry plants in our garden and as this is their second year we have a really large harvest. Since they are are not sprayed the strawberries are only at their best for a couple of days, so these nights I am making a lot of jam!! When you see how long bought strawberries can last in the fridge it would make you wonder about what it is actually sprayed with. I recently enquired from someone in the know and found out that the spray commonly used for strawberries is identical to a spray used to lengthen the life of roses. Of course, these strawberries still contain Vitamin C but again here's another product that is less nutritious than one would like.

Strawberry jam is so delicious and far superior to any shop bought variety. I generally use a combination of granulated sugar and jam sugar for a better set jam. I would really encourage anyone to make their own jam (any variety) to have in their press for a taste of summer during the winter months.

The boys helping with the preparation of the fruit
Strawberry Jam

375g (15oz) fresh Strawberries
325g (13oz) sugar
30mls (1oz) water
3 tablespoon lemon juice.

1. To sterilize the jars put them through a dishwasher cycle, boil in a pan of water for 5 mins or place in a preheated oven (150°C / 300°F / gas mark 2) for 10 mins.
2. Place the sugar in an ovenproof container and heat in an oven (150°C / 300°F / gas mark 2) for 10 mins.
3. Place the fruit and water in a saucepan on a medium heat. Bring to the boil, simmer for 5 mins. Mash the fruit with a potato masher. Add the sugar and lemon juice and stir over a high heat for 10-15 mins.
4. Heat the jars for a couple of mins in the hot oven, to prevent the jar from cracking. Carefully remove them using oven gloves. Pour the jam into the jars immediately and cover with a lid or jam pot cover.