Just {Jammin’}

I love to listen to music when I am in the kitchen.  I tease the kids and tell them I am jammin’ out, which makes them laugh hysterically and they remind me that 80% of the music I listen to is not jammin’ material!
{OK, then!} 
Have you heard of Jackie Evancho?  
She’s a 12 year old classical music artist who I think has become my favorite companion in the kitchen this last week.  Her beautiful voice has made actual “jamming'” in the kitchen this week so relaxing and enjoyable.  
Strawberries have been just beautiful this spring, so when I had an opportunity to purchase fresh berries at a local farm over the weekend, I willingly helped myself!
I put up a few berries for pies & homemade ice cream later in the season, but then I saved some for making strawberry jam.  There is something so wholesome about making your own jams and jellies.  I love to set an open jar on the table at breakfast or supper time for my family to spread on toast or biscuits.  I also like knowing what exactly is going into the mouths of my family.  No artificial flavors, sweeteners or color here!
And aren’t canned goods just so pretty?  It looks like jewels sparkling in the afternoon sun!

Making jam isn’t as difficult as some would have you believe.  Getting everything together and prepping your fruit can be time consuming, but honestly what task isn’t time consuming that is worth doing?
 I made two recipes of strawberry jam; a vanilla-laced strawberry jam and balsamic-strawberry jam.  I’m sharing the vanilla-laced jam here since it is the less tedious of the two.
Strawberry Jam w/ Vanilla

8 cups sliced strawberries
juice of half a lemon (abt. 1 1/2 Tbsp)
1 pkg. powdered pectin (I prefer Ball)
1 whole vanilla bean, scored down one side
7 cups sugar

Take your strawberries and smash them a little at a time in a large pot on the stove, until all 8 cups are smashed and juicy.   I use a potato masher for this.  Add your vanilla bean, lemon juice and pectin (making sure to stir it until it is well dissolved); then bring to a boil.  Stir constantly to keep from burning on the bottom.  Pour all of your sugar in at once.  Stir until it dissolves, then bring to a roaring boil that you can’t stir down, continuing to stir.

Remove from heat and spoon out the vanilla bean.  Ladle into prepped (sterilized) jars, seal and process in a canner about 15 minutes.  Remove and cool.  Store in a cool, dark space; you don’t want to discolor your jam!

I like my jam spread on a slice a fresh white bread.  How do you like yours?

I’m linking up to Foodie Friday this week.  Hope you’ll link over and check out what else is cooking this week!

And, I’ll leave you with a taste of Jackie Evancho.  You can let me know what you think!

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8 thoughts on “Just {Jammin’}

  1. Yes, I am familiar with Jackie's voice…like an angel.

    Your jam is exactly as you describe…like a jewel. I have never made jam and I highly doubt that I ever will though I certainly admire your abilities and willingness to do good things for your family. I'm sure that it tastes amazing, too!

  2. I love to can and to make jam. I haven't done any in years because the season would get by me. School ends at the same time and there is so much to do at that moment. This year I plan to make jam again. I'll try your recipe.

  3. Hi Jennifer, I pinned your recipe just the other day!!! I have jars all ready to be filled, I have never made homemade jam but I am feeling the urge to create. I wonder if I could cut the sugar a bit? This little girl with the great big voice is a little bit scary to me. 🙂 xo

  4. Yes, I've heard of her. Actually, she was on DWTS last week or week before did you catch it? She has an unusually mature voice for someone her age but, I prefer Sarah Brightman.

    The strawberries seem unusually good this year – home grown and store bought too! Your jam looks so clear and bright – just beautiful and I know it's delish!

    Have a wonderful Mother's Day!

  5. Beautiful jam! I am dying for some Weck jars. Where did you find yours?

    I have a praise in that our home has officially sold. I now have just 32 to days to find a home, pack and move. A little pressure? 🙂 We put a bid on a home yesterday that will give “The Money Pit” a run for it's money.
    I wanted to let you know that I so appreciate all of your support and kind comments and if I am absent the next few weeks from your blog please know I will return soon.

    For whomever you nurture, have a happy and blessed Mother's Day.

  6. Pingback: Strawberry Caprese Salad | Fiddle Dee Dee

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