Strawberry Freezer Jam and Homemade Bread

Strawberry Freezer Jam

We had a really fun night making homemade Strawberry Freezer Jam as a group of women at church a few weeks ago. I just have gotten around to catching up on blogging about it. I learned a lot from some experts. 
This Strawberry Freezer Jam was to die for good. And to make it even BETTER we put it on homemade warm bread just out of the oven. What could be more delicious than that? 

Gladys made the yummy bread. It was wheat bread and it was soft and spongy and wonderful. Mine always turns out like a brick. But she did give us a few tips. She uses bread flour and fresh yeast. That could be my problem right there. And she also uses crisco instead of oil or melted butter. Hmmm…..worth a try. 

Linda made and taught us how to do the Strawberry Freezer Jam. I’ve made it before just using the package. She did use the package directions also. But I guess there are lots of pectins to choose from. This is her favorite pectin. 


Original recipe makes 5 pints
You can also use low sugar pectin and use 1 less cup of sugar. Lots of reviews on recipe boards suggest this. I did think the jam was a little sweet but I actually love that. yummy. So do what is your taste. 

Get the ripest strawberries that you can and use them the same day you buy the berries so they are perfect. We made this jam in June so it may not have been the best summer month. But you can often find sweet strawberries this summer at Costco. 

So they used the MCP and the SURE JELL pectins both and both were good. One was lower sugar if I remember well. There were a lot of opinions shared that night from lots of old timers who have done jams for decades so lots of good info was shared. But some disagreed with others on this and that. Especially how much sugar to add. 

While the strawberry jam was setting up we watched a demonstration on bread baking. This was her already put together bread rising in a low oven. I think she turned it on to 200 degrees and then turned the oven off and left door open for 30 minutes so oven was a bit warm. The bread rose perfectly as you can see. 

Gladys was a master bread baker. This is the bread just out of the oven. She sprays the top with butter flavored oil spray to make sure it stays soft and looked kind of glossy. 

Here is her best wheat bread recipe. I tried making it and mind was kind of hard and bricky but I didn’t have dough enhancer. I also didn’t have bread flour. She used half bread flour and half wheat flour. I think that is what makes the difference. Her bread is half white half wheat. Also she didn’t add the 9 grain cereal. It was just plain wheat bread. The dough enhancer makes the bread softer she told me later. 

She was so cute in her little apron. She offered to come over and help me make some wheat bread with her because I told her mine always turns out heavy and bricky. haha. She is so sweet. Like I’d let her into my messy kitchen. 

She shared another great tip. She likes to use glass pans for baking because she can see the corners and she has been able to figure out just the perfect golden look to the bottom of the loaves so she knows they are done. 
The brown and white can in the front is the dough enhancer stuff. You can get it from the Bosch store. That’s where I found mine. 

We each got one of these little tubs of freezer jam to take home. They had put a little note on the top on a round sticker. So cute! 

Then we all chowed down on homemade wheat bread hot out of the oven and freshly made strawberry freezer jam. OOOhhhh it was a yummy night! 

Strawberry Freezer Jam, Grape Juice

Our veggie garden is blossoming as is our fruit trees. We have apples, apricots, peaches and nectarine trees. They are little green fruits,  but it won’t be long now. 

Here’s the apple tree….aren’t they tiny and cute?

In the meantime I just ate the most delicious peaches from the grocery store. It must be peach season in Utah, although we are still waiting for ours. 

The Peach Festival is going on right now in Utah….great big YUMMY peaches!

 We also have grapes  growing but they are tiny little green buds.

My concord grape vines….this year we are making something with them! I promise!

I can’t wait to do jelly and jams with these summer fruits.  On Chez Pim’s site she is getting busy doing some jammin.  Her link is HERE for yummy jams and jellies.

Apricot Syrup….Delish on pancakes…but my fav is still boysenberry….

We’ve been the recipient of some awesome jams and jellies and syrups this past year. We received some Apricot syrup from my friend Linda, some cranberry jalapeno jam from our friends the Meyers.

Cranberry Jalapeno Jam…..very different tasting…fruity with a bite!

My awesome mom-in-law makes raspberry peach as well as apricot jam and gives them out to us at the holidays. She is the jam queen and should have started her own label way back when. She is 89 and still does jam! Now doesn’t that intimidate you, you might ask? Yeah, well kinda….you should see how good she can ski! 

Her raspberry peach jam is to DIE FOR! 
Apricot Jam …yummy-ummy! I use this sometimes on baked chicken for a glaze!

 I also have purple, concord grapes that are growing. I’m not that great at these grapes. They are always yummy but I’ve never done much with them except eat them. This year I’m gonna make some grape juice out of them. I found a cool blog that gives a tutorial on making grape juice for a beginner. The link for her blog is HERE at Our Little Acre.

 My son-in-law, Dr. Tremayne grew up with homemade grape juice that his mom made, and he raves about how yummy it is.  If she can do it, so can I!  I’ll just need to buy another book…or two…..snicker….
We at one time had planted about a dozen raspberry bushes out back, that were given to us by my dear friend Barbara who was thinning out her mom’s Bear Lake raspberry bushes. We went up to North Salt Lake in the rain to dig them up together one fall day.

I love raspberry jam…but today it’s Strawberry Freezer Jam Day!  


 Then a sweet teenager on our street wanted to earn some summer money and I asked him to weed a part of my yard over by the rock gardens. Unfortunately he didn’t know the different between a weed and a raspberry. And all those raspberries were dug up and tossed in the dumpster. That was a bad memory. I paid the poor kid anyway. He was saving for a church mission. Oh well….one of those “When Life Gives you Lemons” kinda day.

So this year Barbara said I could come thin out HER bushes. So I can get some more bushes. I’m starting over I guess. It’s SUCH a wonderful life. 

If you want my Strawberry Pie Recipe using Jello for the glaze link  HERE for Strawberry Pie.

So with my leftover strawberries from a pie I made, I thought I would make some strawberry freezer jam. It’s really good and easy and I just love it on my morning buttered toast.  It is really sweet and natural strawberry tasting. (ya think?)

Strawberry Freezer Jam

2 cups mashed strawberries (smash so you get 2 level cups of mashed strawberries exactly)
4 cups sugar  I know! It’s a lot of sugar!
3/4 cup water
1 package Sure Jell Fruit Pectin

Mash up strawberries with a potato smasher till you get 2 cups (about 1 1/2 pounds of fresh strawberries) and then add in the sugar and let them sit for 20 minutes till sugar is pretty dissolved. In a saucepan mix the water and fruit pectin powder on the stove to a bubbling boil and let it boil for about a minute. Then take it off the stove and mix it in with the strawberry mixture. Then pour into 5 cute jars (Walmart has cute small ones) or zip lock has some plasticware small freezer jam containers and add lids.  Leave about 1/2 inch inside the top of each bottle. Let it sit overnight until set. Then put in freezer or if you are using right away it can keep in the fridge for 3 weeks.  Lasts in the freezer 6 months!
Blueberry Freezer Jam
3 cups mashed blueberries (about 2 1/2 pints)
5 1/4 cups sugar
(everything else the same)

I’ve heard that Mangos make a great freezer jam too. Hmmmm…..I might try that too.  I’ve also been reading about a “less sugar” type of Sure Jell that you can use with sugar substitutes or with less sugar ratio. I’ve never tried them but those might be worth a try too.