Make summer last well into the winter with strawberry jam


Rhymes with 'henn'
11 Years
Jun 14, 2008
South Puget Sound
The Pacific Northwest has the best environment in the country for strawberries and rhubarb. In fact, some 80% of the nation's rhubarb comes from Sumner, a nearby city. I bought my strawberries in the Puyallup (pew-ALL-up) valley.

Puyallup was known in the '30s and '40s as THE place to grow berries. It still is, in many respects. Many of the farms were owned by Japanese immigrants, who lost everything in the forced internments of the early '40s. It's a piece of American history that we should never forget, nor repeat.

Here are the strawberries we bought in Puyallup today. We got 2 whole flats. I processed just one of them.

When I was a kid, my family went to Puyallup to get blueberries, rabbit feed, and cucumbers. In fact, it's where I still get my chicken feed sometimes. The farmland in the Puyallup Valley is spectacular: rich and productive. It's important to me to buy fruit from there because much of the valley has been paved over and covered with warehouses. When we buy local strawberries, not only do they taste better (those cruddy ones from CA has no taste because they're bred to travel well), the farmers have good reason to resist being bought out by big businesses and housing developments.

What should you do with your strawberries and rhubarb? You might want to make this recipe, like I did:

, you need to clean and hull the strawberries. A bonus for the chickens is that they get to nibble the hulls.

If you're lucky, like I am, your grandma might have a massive rhubarb plant that is as old as it is large. She'll ply you with rhubarb stalks because she doesn't eat them anymore.

Clean and chop up the rhubarb.

Measure out 4 cups of rhubarb.

Then measure out 4 cups of strawberries. Mine shows a bit extra because I didn't crush the berries.

Add 4 T lemon juice. It should be bottled juice so that the acidity is guaranteed, but I didn't have any so used fresh (cardinal sin of canning!). Oh well. In this case it's for color preservation more than anything. I found this pressed glass juicer that had belonged to my great-grandmother in my grandmother's root cellar.

I wish I had a root cellar.

Put these in gredients into a large stock pot. It'll look like the pot is too big, but believe me: you'll want to have the high sides once this stuff starts to boil and spit out globules of molten goo. Don't forget the salt.

Bring it to a hard boil, which means that if you stir it, the boil won't go down. Beware of steam.

Add the box of pectin and bring the mix to a boil again. Once it has boiled for 1 minute, add the sugar. Yes, that's 10 cups of sugar.

Hey, I never said that jam was low-cal.

Boil it, stirring vigorously, until the temperature hits 220 degrees. This is the easiest way to ensure a set. Think of making jam like making candy: the mixture will behave certain ways (i.e. "gel") at prescribed temperatures. In this case, 220 is the magic temp.

Put the jam in the prepared jars, wipe rims, put on lids, finger tighten, and process for 5 minutes. Remember that you start the 5 mins once the water starts to boil.

Last week I found 24 pint jars on the side of the road. SCORE!! Free jars are any canner's best friend(s).

If you're speedy, you can put a batch of jars to process while you make the next batch of jam. You can't double the batches or the pectin won't set.

I made 2 batches of strawberry-rhubarb jam and 1 batch of plain strawberry, for a total of 15 jars. It took about 2 hours start to finish. Getting the water to boil for processing the jars always is the longest part of the process at my house. I always start the water before I do anything else.

Summer will last in my household well into the winter.


Rhymes with 'henn'
11 Years
Jun 14, 2008
South Puget Sound
Don, my friend, I'm just getting going! This is my first canning of the year. Last year I canned about 300 jars over a period of several months. I've got to inventory my jars tomorrow, both full and empty, to see what we ate, didn't eat, and how many jars I've got for summer 2009 canning. I've been busy over the past week gathering cheap jars. Heck, I even found 24 of them on the side of the road. Duuuude. That made my day.

I'll try to photograph my canning to share on BYC this summer.


12 Years
Apr 6, 2007
Quote:Very nice job on those pics so far. Looks like a technical manual.
You must have one of dem collleje edumucations.


12 Years
Oct 18, 2007
Quote:With Wimpy from Popeye cartoons in mind.
I would gladly send you MT jars today for a full one on Tuesday.

But you can leave the rhubard out of mine please.​


There is no "I" in Ameraucana
12 Years
Jan 18, 2008
Newman Lake, WA
I picked about 14 lbs today. I made two batches of jam tonight and have a huge tray of berries in the fridge for the kids.

I am now waiting for the raspberries. Next will be green beans. And, I suppose my husband will want me to do some beets too.

We have a u-pick farm about 1 mile down the road.


Rhymes with 'henn'
11 Years
Jun 14, 2008
South Puget Sound
I can't wait for
green beans
did I say tomatoes yet?
Last edited:

Poo Shoes

In the Brooder
10 Years
May 20, 2009
wow. great artcle and photos and recipe. jennpeeps you should sell this to taste of home magazine. it inspired me i am makin jam?


Prairie Wolf Farm Asylum
10 Years
Feb 12, 2009
NE Kansas
Quote:You can all of those? I have a garden planted and would love to preserve my summer and winter squash!
Your preserves look AWESOME!
Do you ever sell them

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