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How to make strawberry jam

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The Garden of Eating

(Read caption) Canning beautifully preserves strawberries at their peak freshness so you can enjoy delicious strawberry jam all year around.

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My husband loves peanut butter and jelly with strawberry jam. And our son likes strawberry jam quite a bit, too. Normally, I stock up on Trader Joe's organic strawberry jam whenever I happen to pass by one of their stores on one of my rare forays out of the hinterlands, But while T.J.'s jam is fine, it's just not as good as the homemade stuff. 

Plus, we had so much fun picking strawberries last summer (we froze most of them to use in smoothies and sauces), that we decided to increase the size of our haul this summer and expand our preserving efforts to include jam.

Despite the relatively rainy weather, we've found enough breaks in the gloom to go picking at two of our favorite local farms and have picked enough to freeze a bunch and to make a decent sized batch of this divine strawberry jam.

If you're new to canning, this is a great thing to start with since it's fairly straightforward and the end result is both yummy and beautiful to behold.

Also, the smell that will fill your house while you're simmering the jam on the stove is nothing short of divine – so sweet and summery it almost makes you want to cry. This smell stands in stark contrast to the intensely vinegary odor that pervades every nook and cranny of your house when you pickle foods.

A few notes before you begin: Don't skip the macerating step if possible. If you don't have time to let them sit overnight, even an hour is better than nothing.

And don't cut any corners on your fruit – preserve the freshest and best berries you can find!

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