DIY diva

Jammin’ Already

June 26, 2014 | 17 Comments | Uncategorized
DIY diva

This story starts with something awesome… breakfast.

Specifically the fact that I have an awesome dude who has awesome ideas about food (there were once meatball omelettes  made in my kitchen, you guys.) Last weekend he did something new and opened his bar for breakfast for just one day, and, I’m sorry, did someone just say breakfast tots?

Yeah. There’s a fried egg in there. That definitely happened.

What also happened was that strawberry gift from the gods jam that you see on the toast there. Because my dude does not half-ass things, he picked a zillion pounds of strawberries and then made homemade jam for the breakfast they served. And that jam was so effing good I was still talking about it Saturday night, and he was like… “So, you want go pick some strawberries and make more jam?”

Um. YES.

Honestly I had a quick moment of panic– because I have a quick moment of panic about anything that takes me away from the unfinished garden and fences and pergola these days– but then I remembered that this is totally what summer is for. Picking strawberries and canning jam with my dude, on a Sunday, if that’s what I want to do…


You know what the very first thing that came out of my mouth when we got here was, right?

“Ohhhhhh, I need to plant some rows of strawberries in my field!!!” (Next year, field…)

This year I settled for other peoples strawberries…


So, we picked berries in the morning, then Sunday evening I got to spend a little time sitting out on my patio with a glass of wine, tossing strawberry hulls out to the Nuggets.


Life on the farm isn’t always tears and concrete anchors

I guess in my head I was thinking canning wouldn’t start for months, but here we are.

I learned that “real chefs” pulverize their strawberries by hand…


We added in some rhubarb…




Sugar and pectin…


And, it starts. The first of many, many cans to be filled on the farm this year.


After my first great canning adventure last year I managed to amass all the “fancy canning gadgets” like funnels and bottle tongs and lid magnets. Someone might have made fun of all those gadgets, but, listen, I’m telling you all straight… they really are handy.

And they result in JAM.


Eight pints of jam, to be precise.

(The jam recipe came from this book, if anyone is interested. I’m not quite at the point where I’m making up my own recipes yet.)

I’m hoping to add pickles, applesauce, and the requisite salsa and tomato sauce to my canning list this year, along with a couple more fun recipes like pickled cherry tomatoes and green beans. At any rate it, feels good to be producing food on the farm again.

DIY diva


  • Jess

    I love making jam! I just made a huge batch out of the sweetest (and tiniest – ugh, hulling) Ontario strawberries. Jam is one of those things that impresses people when you make it, but is dead easy.

    I admit though, I go to town on my berries with an immersion blender. I hate chunky jam – the immersion blender obviously leaves all the fruit, but eliminates the lumps.

    • Becky

      I also hate lumpy strawberry jam and have never thought of using an immersion blender. Jam season just got so much better!

  • patty

    I was in Ypsi this weekend and stopped at Wurst Bar. Great food! Would have loved to have tried that breakfast!

  • Dawn

    I think I almost have enough strawberries, red raspberries and yellow raspberries to make 1 batch of multiberry jam :o)

  • Kit's Mom

    Mamie said she makes strawberry jam the exact same way, but adds a couple splashes of hot sauce! (Oh, but she doesn’t squish the strawberries by hand.)

  • Tara

    Food In Jars is an awesome website for small batch canning. Much more manageable when you only have/only want to make a small amount.

    …and dude…always plant all the strawberries!!

    • Kit

      I looked up the website and love it!

  • shirley bruner

    your jam looks delish. but….if you are storing that jam…..take those rings off. just store with the tops sealed on there.

  • Kristen

    When you make the pickled beans, add some hot peppers. Spicy beans in caesers are the best (and yes, I know you guys don’t have caesers down there, just Bloody Mary’s, but google it and get the beard to make some clamato juice, and you will realize how much better it is, and… well how awesome Canadians are.)

    • Brian

      What do you mean? We have Little Caesars on just about every street corner down here.

  • Taf @ TinkerT

    My favorite family jam is much like the strawberry you described, but also adds a can of crushed pineapple. Sooooooo Crazy Good! Something about the pineapple makes it a million times better.

    Our family recipe calls it “Winter Jam”… Not sure exactly why. Maybe because you can use frozen strawberries and make it during the winter, too.

    One thing to note… my sister made a huge batch at my mom’s house and then took it home to Denver. Every couple hundred feet up in elevation, and more of the cans broke seal. POP! If your cans will be traveling, always can at a higher elevation than the cans will be going if possible.

  • JulieW

    Looks good. Almost worth taking a benadryl and possibly a trip to the hospital for.

  • june

    Before planting your strawberries, do a little reading on the different varieties to pick the ones you might really want… the ones we have (sorry not sure) are decent the first year, good the second, BEST the third and then begin to be not so good. So… we replant every so often. Also… once you plant, keep up the row idea so picking is not such a beast of job. I am going to try the different suggestions of recipes, they all should great!! Mine is just strawberries, sugar, water and pectin… and I don’t think there is a bad recipe for strawberry jam.

  • Sarah C.

    I made my own strawberry jam this year for the first time and it’s the first strawberry jam I have actually liked! I may have to reevaluate strawberry ice cream if it’s homemade too. I used bay leaves in my strawberry jam to bring out the strawberry flavor and used pomonas pectin to cut down the sugar.

    Thanks for posting. I love your blog…the tears and the jam.

  • Chrissy @ Adventures in DIY

    You are kick ass and you have an awesome dude, for sure! Just seeing & reading about everything you do makes me feel like I’m lazy, but you sure inspire me!

  • lærke

    don’t wait till next summer with the straawberry plants get some shoots or wathever they are called and plant them this fall that way you’ll have strawberrys next summer, and u know fall great for planting..

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