Nothing feels more like summertime, than fresh, ripe berries! And one of the best things about the summer & fall months is that the countryside is just full of nature’s bounty! We drive by several PYO (pick your own) fruit & vegetable farms everyday in our neck of the woods, here in New England.
Every summer, we circle a day (or two or three) that are our Berry Days. On these days we take our baskets to the farm and fill them up with strawberries in the morning, and come home to make freezer jam in the afternoon... And in the later afternoon, we make strawberry milkshakes with some of our new strawberry jam!
(Incidentally, the idea of having a “berry day” was inspired by the book Farmer Boy, by Laura Ingalls Wilder, and it is such an awesome read with kids!) For the month of August, we have a Blueberry Day and a Raspberry Day on our calendar too!
If you live in a city, like we used to, these kinds of farms may not be as accessible and PYO might just mean going to your nearest Costco and finding the carton of strawberries that looks the most ripe!
But in many places, if you take a little drive you can get to one of these PYO farms. And let me tell you, there is something so fulfilling about plucking berries off the vine they have ripened on! It has become one of our favorite summertime traditions.
If having your own “berry day” sounds like something you might like to try, let me share with you our tried & true freezer jam recipe!
STRAWBERRY FREEZER JAM
- 2 cups crushed strawberries (1 quart of ripe strawberries)
- 4 cups sugar
- 3/4 cup water
- 1 pkg. SURE-JELL Fruit Pectin
Wash strawberries & remove the stems. Crush strawberries thoroughly. Measure 2 cups of crushed fruit into large bowl. Stir in sugar until it is dissolved. Let stand 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Mix water and pectin in small saucepan. Bring to boil on high heat, stirring constantly. Continue boiling and stir for 1 minute. Add to fruit mixture & stir for 3 minutes or until the sugar is dissolved. Fill your containers immediately to within 1/2 inch of tops. Wipe off top edges of containers & immediately cover with lids. Let stand at room temperature for 24 hours. Jam is now ready to use. Store in refrigerator up to 3 weeks or in freezer for up to 1 year.
Now don’t cry when you see the amount of sugar! Just make peace with the fact that freezer jam is a special treat and go make yourself a strawberry milkshake! The perfect summertime snack.