So, here are my choices. I can just give up. Or, I can pick myself back up and think about how good I feel, both physically and mentally, when I'm off sugar. I can admit that there are going to be times when I slip up and that instead of feeling guilty and lousy about it, I'm going to forgive myself and move on, in the better direction. God forgives us every time as if it was the first. Why are we so hard on ourselves?
My chest feels lighter. Thank you.
I wasn't going to make any strawberry jam this year, but I couldn't resist. It's in my blood. And, don't worry, I did not just promptly fall back off the wagon. I didn't even taste it. Oh, dear. I hope it's okay. Just kidding. About it possibly not being okay. Do you need me to stopping talking now?
Why I'm freezing my strawberry jam: With ALL other fruits (except strawberry and red raspberry), I can my jam. I freeze strawberry jam because I like how it retains it's beautiful color and flavor when froze. Peach and grape jam look and taste just as lovely canned. In my experience, strawberry does not. This is a personal preference.
Also, you don't have to use boxed pectin. There are recipes out there for jams that use bulk pectin, that don't use pectin at all, and that don't use sugar even. I am just showing you what WE do.
You don't need canning jars for freezer jam: You can use them, but instead start to accumulate any glass jar with a tight fitting lid. You can also use plastic containers if you want. I have collected Smucker's jam jars (ha ha) to use for my freezer jam. You only need a tight fitting lid, not canning lids that need to seal.
KEY tips about using boxed pectin: There are several.
1) The directions for freezing and canning all different kinds of fruited jam are inside the box. The directions will tell you everything you need to know and do.
2) If you want to use less sugar, buy a pectin for using LESS SUGAR (they sell this kind). DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT, buy a box of regular pectin and just add less sugar than what the directions say. This WILL NOT WORK. There are boxed pectins that call for less sugar and no sugar. Find yourself one of those boxes instead.
3) Read directions all the way through before starting. I've been in a hurry before and added the sugar when they were really telling me to measure out the sugar into a separate bowl for later and thoroughly messed up a batch of jam (it didn't thicken up right, but still tasted good). Don't do this. Read, read, read. Then begin:-).
4) One more thing. There is a help line phone number in the instructions. If you don't understand something or if you did something out of order by mistake, call those lovely folks. They are very helpful and want you to be successful. They want people to like and buy there pectin, of course.
Stawberry Freezer Jam
I feel a little silly posting this because it's not really a recipe- I just follow the instructions on the box. So, instead of the recipe, I'm just going to show you the method we use.
1) Read the instructions carefully for "freezer" jam. There will also be instructions for making "cooked" jam as well.
2) Check the chart in the directions to find out what ingredients you will need to make strawberry freezer jam. Above this chart are the instructions for making it. As you can see, below the chart are the cooked jam instructions. Bottled lemon juice works just as well as fresh.
3) Gather your ingredients. Follow the instructions carefully.
4) I like to use a glass measuring pitcher to pour the jam into my jars since their openings are small.
5) Top with lids, let sit to thicken per instructions, label and freeze.