Strawberry Memories

Strawberry Memories
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I was up this morning before it was dawn. My 3 grandkids are here and the smallest seemed to have a fitful night. So I put the coffee on and wished for a biscuit and strawberry jam.....grandma's jam. I can just smell that jam...strawberries seem to just smell so good as they are crushed.
She made 2 kinds of jam...I have included both methods. She never seemed to make a mess. I remember several things that I think kept her kitchen clean even when canning... There was always a sink full of hot and sudsy water for dishes to be put in when she was finished with them. Her worktable was big and she always covered it with paper for east clean up....when she was working with fresh fruit and vegetables. The garbage can was clean and by her side to fill and than get it out of there.

The order of her kitchen counted too....she had the pots and pans she needed out...the utensils by her side....and the ingredients all out before she began. Remember this lady had to have lunch for grandpa and the hired men. So she had to get in....get it done...get it cleaned up and ready to serve the meal that was made. On canning day it may be soup on the woodstove or fresh vegetables and a meat she made and had just simmering on the stove. But be assured it was planned and it would be ready at 12 noon! She did can soups and at harvest times they came in handy.

The jars were always hot and ready to fill if needed. The night before she would check all jar rims and have all of that ready. The strawberries would be picked at daybreak and cleaned and cooked....

Grandma believed in she allowed us to cook and make a mess but she made sure we cleaned it up under her supervision. That taught us! She did not need the fly lady to tell her how to do it and she never read "how to do "books on cleaning and keeping house...she saw a job that needed to be done and she did it.

Another secret was the time she took out for herself each day....somehow that kept her from feeling like she was a slave or doormat. She took home-making as a "calling" her job and she said everybody should do their best at their job.....she did!

I asked her after I was married if she wished she had a career and I can still see her grin...."Donna, I had one....I loved was my husband, my children and now my grandchildren. It was making you all love and learn and have convictions. Did I mean work out of the home...she did that in caring for sick neighbors, helping young mothers, visiting the shut-ins....going to the church sewing once a month and to the hospital sewing once a collecting for those that lost taking food to the fireman when there was a huge barn looking for those that needed the love of Jesus.... For giving time to the Christian school I went teaching children in Sunday School for 21 years. Did she work outside the home?????Yes, she said she did."

She was a wonderful example! I miss her!

Strawberry Jam

2 c Sugar

2 c Strawberries

Use large firm berries. Wash and hull the strawberries; then measure. Place a layer of berries in a kettle, then a layer of sugar until all ingredients are used. Let stand over night or until the sugar dissolves. Place on fire, bring to a boil and cook about 10 minutes. Pour into a bowl and let stand until the next day; then fill sterilized jelly glasses and seal.

Strawberry Freezer Jam

1 -1/2 pints fresh strawberries (may use frozen, let thaw and drain)

1 box Sure-Jell pectin

4 c. sugar

3/4 c. water


Rinse and hull strawberries, drain. Chop strawberries into small chunks and place in large bowl. Mash fruit with potato masher. Do not puree as jam is meant to have small chunks of fruit in it. Add 4 cups sugar to strawberries and mix well. Let set for 10 minutes.

Stir 1 box Sure-Jell fruit pectin and 3/4 cup water into small pan. Bring to a boil on high heat, stirring constantly. Boil and stir mixture for 1 minute. Remove from heat.

Stir pectin mixture into strawberries until sugar is completely dissolved. Pour strawberry mixture into clean plastic containers and cover tightly with lids. Let set at room temperature for 24 hours. After 24 hours, refrigerate . Can be stored in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks and in freezer for up to one year. Just thaw jam in refrigerator to use.

These are just wonderful with fresh jam!

Strawberry Jam Turnovers

One 8-ounce package refrigerated crescent dinner rolls

1/3 cup whipped cream cheese

1/4 cup strawberry preserves

1 egg white, beaten

confectioners' sugar

On cookie sheet, separate dough into 4 triangles; pinch seams closed. Sprinkle with 1 Tablespoon confectioners' sugar. Spoon 1/4 of the cream cheese and 1/4 of the preserves in the center of each rectangle. Brush edges with egg white. Fold corners to center; press. Brush tops with egg white. Bake 15 to 20 minutes in preheated 375 degree oven. Sprinkle with confectioners' sugar. Serves: 4

We loved this on pancakes! She never made enough and her friends loved it as gifts.

Strawberry Syrup

8 cup. strawberries, crushed

1/4 cup. lemon juice

3 cups. sugar

1 cup. corn syrup

Requires: 3 hot sterilized pint jars

Place strawberries in a 4 to 6 quart pot and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Pour berries into a damp jelly bag set over a bowl covered with a double thickness of cheesecloth. (To keep cheesecloth from slipping, fasten with clip clothespins to rim of bowl.) Let juice drip for at least 2 hours. There will be 3 to 4 cups of juice. Return juice to pot and combine with remaining ingredients. Stir constantly and bring to a rolling boil over high heat. Boil 1 minute. Pour syrup into 3 hot sterilized pint jars, leaving 1" headspace. Wipe rim of jar with damp cloth. Attach lid. Process in water bath for 10 minutes. Recipe can be halved and refrigerated without processing, when used within a few weeks.

Grandma made her own "biscuit mix" for this recipe but I kinda re-wrote it for convince. I make my own mix and use it....but I shared that before. Grandma loved cardamom and to me this is the secret of this recipe. I love it!

Strawberry Cobbler

4 cup. sliced strawberries

1 tbsp. lemon juice

3/4-1 cup sugar

1 tbsp. corn starch

2 cus . buttermilk biscuit mix

3 tablespoons butter melted

1/2 cup. milk

1 tsp. vanilla

1/2 tbsp. sugar

1/8 tsp. ground cardamon

Oven 400F Combine strawberries, lemon juice, sugar and corn starch in saucepan. Heat and stir until boiling and thickened. Pour into an 8" square baking dish. Combine next 5 ingredients for dumpling batter, and drop by tablespoons onto strawberry mixture. Combine sugar and cardamon and sprinkle over top. Bake at given temperature about 25 minutes, or until dumplings are done. Serves six.

More on Strawberries

Wild Strawberries

Picking and Freezing Strawberries

More Strawberry Recipe


About The Author

Donna had the privilege of growing up in a Mennonite family in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. She is married and lives in Georgia. Donna has 3 children and 3 grandchildren. She also writes a Column called Cooking with Don, which you can sign up for here and another list called Sites for Learning

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