Canned Strawberry Jam

Image by Michal Jarmoluk from Pixabay

Hmm. I sat staring at the computer screen. Canned strawberry jam. Interesting. I leaned back in my well-worn office chair, and looked out the window. Maybe I should try it. How hard can this be? I quickly copied off the recipe, sat down and read it through.

Ashley from Practical Self-Reliance, made it all seem simple. Ha! She doesn’t know me very well. If she did, she would have talked me out of this adventure.

The simplicity of the recipe, and Ashley’s kind blogging demeanor, lulled me into a can-do state (no pun intended, but I do love a good pun!). I ran downstairs and collected my strawberries. I washed them, topped them, and then mashed them.

Follow the directions

Image by Bruno /Germany from Pixabay

This is my motto for life “Follow the directions, Michele!”. Yes, that exclamation point is more or less hollering at myself because I know I am a rebel at heart. This rebel questions most everything, especially the why’s of having to do things a certain way. WHY!? I am sure I drove my parents nuts by asking, “why?”. WHY?!

In the blogging world, one must be very careful how one relays someone’s recipe. I have read several articles about copyright law, copyrights to recipes, sharing recipes, and so forth. A court of judges ruled that recipe ingredients COULD NOT be copyrighted.

Imagine someone having two cups of butter in their recipe and getting sued because someone else had two cups of butter too! Yeah, a gal would quickly run out of being able to create new recipes simply because the ingredients were previously used in another copyrighted recipe. Uffdah!

Now to the matter of directions. Directions are on a scale of personal experience, commentary if you will, and therefore, directions CAN be copyrighted. No, you will not get in trouble for ‘oven at 350’, but you will get in trouble for publishing directions of a recipe word for word. You have to use your own experience with the recipe. In addition, you always link back to the original recipe writer’s website as well as mentioning his or her name. I make it a point to mention a name and their link three times. CYW. Cover your writing.

How bad could I screw this up?

Now that you have had a small introduction to the Cliff Notes version of copywriting of recipes, let’s move on to more happy things like making canned strawberry jam. You can get Ashley’s recipe here, https://practicalselfreliance.com/strawberry-jam-without-pectin/. I chose her recipe because it was simple. It used three ingredients:

  • 4 quarts of fresh strawberries- this should give you 8 cups of mashed strawberries
  • 6 cups sugar
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice – I am of the freshly squeezed camp, but bottled is okay as well

With my strawberries washed, topped, and mashed, I added my sugar and lemon juice to a deep stock pot and brought them to a gentle boil. It said to ‘stir frequently’ to prevent scorching. Hmm. What is scorching? I’ve scorched dress shirts with an iron.

The directions said the jam would be ready when it “sheets” off a spoon. I had to look up just what that meant. I had a mental image of what I thought it meant, but I better be sure. Okay, got it!

The jam was to cook for 45 minutes. That was the downfall right there. I had a great deal of time to mess this up. I ran downstairs to set up my water bath, filled the pot, turned on the stove, and raced upstairs.

Jam it all!

Image by Pexels from Pixabay

I’m a multitasker. So, when I saw the 45 minutes to cook, I thought, hmm what else can I do whilst cooking this jam? Oh, Michele!

I got busy washing dishes and organizing a drawer. Then came an interesting podcast and then the jam foamed up and boiled over. Now you could smell burning jam.

I quickly cleaned up the stock pot and wiped off the burner. Setting the pot down, I heard Brad call on the baby monitor from my grandson’s room, “Michele, are you out there? I smell something burning”. Darn it all! How could he smell this already? That man has a nose of a Blood Hound.

Completely irritated, I opened the door to the hallway and whispered in an angry, confirming tone, “YES! I’ve burnt the jam! And promptly slammed the door. BLAM! Good gravy! To be continued…

That’s all the room I was allowed this week. Tune in next week when I discover more than jam was burning on the stove.

Till next time! Here is to good food, good friends, and a good life!

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