A Week of Strawberries - Part II (Homemade Strawberry Preserves)

When it comes to jelly, the store-bought stuff just will not do. I mean, sure, I eat it, and I don't necessarily hate it, but when you were raised on jelly like this - the manufactured kind just doesn't cut it. So of course when strawberries started coming in - and looking so fat, juicy and delicious - the first thing that popped into my head was preserves! I wanted homemade, sweet preserves, however, with bits of strawberry floating around, to slather on biscuits, toast and maybe even waffles for the months ahead.

And considering I made a dozen jars of this strawberry preserves - I'd say I'm set!

Just as last time, with the grape jelly, I have my Great Aunt Maggie for lending me the use of her kitchen - and her recipes - for my strawberry preserves. I won't lie - making preserves is a hot job; it's not necessarily a hard job, but all of that boiling and standing and wax-melting ... well, it can get to you. (It sure got to my feet that night, but I might have a little baby boy to blame for that!)

This recipe can be used for any type of berry preserves - I plan to try it next with blackberries (but I'll be straining it to remove the seeds, which will really make it jelly and not preserves.) I recommend you try it - you'll be pleasantly surprised with the results! And when it comes time for holiday gift-giving you'll have a ready-made, hand-made present: strawberry preserves (and perhaps a loaf of freshly baked bread to go along with it!)

Abby's Strawberry Preserves
By Confabulation in the Kitchen
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1 gallon strawberries
3 cups sugar
1 bar o fwax for sealing jars

1. Wash, cap and slice berries.
2. Measure out one quart berries, pour into large, heavy-bottomed pot. (This is important to keep the sugar from burning.) Pour in 1.5 cups sugar and bring mixture to a hard boil. Cook for 5 minutes.
3. After five minutes, add remaining 1.5 cups of sugar and cook until thick - 12 to 15 minutes. This time may vary depending on the heat of your stove. When you lift the spoon to let the preserves fall, or if you spoon some onto a plate, the mixture should "pull" for you, which will let you know that it's ready to be jarred.
4. Put in washed, boiled, pint-sized jars. CAREFUL! Jars will be H-O-T after you pour in preserves!
5. Immediately melt wax (which will only take a few seconds) and spoon over preserves until they are completely covered. (I used about two tablespoon fulls per jar.) Then, immediately cap and place screw lid on jars. Voila! You've got preserves.

One gallon of strawberries made 2 quarts of sliced berries. That is two recipes, and I got six jars of preserves out of each recipe.

This recipe for Strawberry Preserves is my submission to Putting Up, by You Say Tomahto, I say Tomayto and Rosie Bakes a Peace of Cake! Thanks, ladies, for such a fun event!