Strawberry Jam with Mom

We went to the Cape to visit my folks.

Mom had a big bunch of fresh local berries waiting…

cape cod strawberries
sun-ripened and hand-picked… fresh strawberries from cape cod

… and she showed me how she makes jam. Growing up, we did not spend much time in the kitchen with Mom. She is the first to say she is not a fabulous cook, and I learned by trial and error as I got older.

Mom’s talents lie in other areas — she’s a nurse and even at age 70 she still works a full week, lending her caring hands and heart to those in need.
Her patients love her, and I am so proud of her.

Back to jam — Mom’s recipe isn’t much more than following the instructions in the Certo package. Nonetheless, it was fun to help. It’s so much easier than I thought it would be — I have to try my own hand at it one of these days.

Strawberry Jam

4 c crushed strawberries and their juice (from about 2 quarts fresh berries)
7c sugar
1 package Certo fruit pectin


Wash, hull, and crush the berries with a potato masher. Place in a large heavy pan, add the sugar, stir well and bring to a rolling boil (a boil that does not cease when you stir). Add 1/2 tsp butter if desired to reduce foaming. Add Certo and stir continuously at rolling boil for one minute. Remove from the heat and skim any foam from the top.

Ladle into sterilized jars.

The instructions call for processing sealed jars in a canner for ten minutes.
Mom always refrigerates her jam, so she doesn’t process it.
She seals the jars the way her mother and father did, and she told me how:

Fill the sterilized jars very near to the top and tighten lids very well.
Then while still hot, tip the jars upside down and leave for five minutes.
Turn them back right side up and you should be able to hear the vacuum seal forming — it makes a popping noise.
She does this on a tray in case of leakage.

boiling the berry crush and sugar
berry crush and sugar at a rolling boil

adding pectin to the berry crush
adding the certo…

stirring it up
mom stirring it up!

homemade strawberry jam
homemade strawberry jam

It’s funny how you go along, not realising your parents are getting older, then one day it hits you.

I am fortunate in that I see my folks often — my kids even more so. They live fairly close and I guess I take that for granted. It was really special to spend an afternoon in my mother’s kitchen, learning something new from her.

I need to make the time to spend more days like that, and I intend to 🙂

welcoming hammock between two old cedar trees…. my folks’ yard



  1. Luv2Cook said

    wow..a really cool write up. My mom is like urs..she makes jams all the time..she is actually sending me some of her mango jam this week..I cannot wait to get it :)…That hammock looks sooo welcoming…I wish I was on it NOW 🙂

    Well look who’s here! Are you back at last!? Great to seeya Sam… I must run check your blog 🙂

  2. revathi said

    Yarddd Oh god Looks like a park !!! You are soo lucky living close to parents.. I have not seen my ma in three years now.. I miss her soooooo much.. especially her food and her yellings for me 🙂

    Got me back memories – thanks

    It is like a park Revathi… something about the soil down there by the ocean I guess. I feel for you, missing your mom… glad you got some good memories today 🙂

  3. Mishmash! said

    thats the prettiest and sexiest strawberries I have ever seen !!!
    And so many jars, can I have one? 😀 and some of those berries too !
    Nice to see ur mom too! 🙂


    Will send you a special delivery Shn, berries and jam 🙂 thanks 🙂

  4. Mishmash! said

    my comment is not showing up 😦

    I think WordPress burped, Shn… there it is now 🙂

  5. Nupur said

    Those strawberries look so perfect that they look unreal! Making jam and seeing all those bottles of jam…I bet you felt this surge of satisfaction when you were done 🙂
    You mom looks beautiful! How fun to spend an afternoon doing something fun together.

    It was a very fun afternoon, thanks, Nupur. And you’re right — a sense of satisfaction too 🙂

  6. bee said

    your mom is so pretty, linda, as are those strawberries.

    Thank you Bee… she was really enjoying herself with the kids around 🙂

  7. Vani said

    Oh, look at the jars and jars of strawberry jam! And those fresh strawberries look so good! Your mom is so cuddly and cute and huggable! How nice that she’s still working and helping others. Do give her a hug from me!

    Loved your vangi val bhaji. It looks delicious! And kudos on the homemade masala, Linda! I’ve never really tried to make any masala myself -my mom sends me the masalas we use in our cooking and the others I buy from stores. But nothing beats fresh homemade stuff!

    Vani you sweet girl! Mom will be so happy to get a hug 🙂 I didn’t really make totally homemade goda masala btw — I just added a few things to one I bought. I’d *like* to make it homemade, but I need to get all the right ingredients first. Lucky you, having homemade from your family is really special 🙂
    Glad you enjoyed!

  8. mandira said

    you have captured happiness and fun in those bottles along with fabulous jam. It must be fun making it with your mom. 🙂

    Thank you, Mandira — we did have alot of fun 🙂

  9. Luv2Cook said

    Yo Linda – just saw ur comment about the eggplant flowers dropping. Mine do that a LOT also..I have 3 plants and probably had about 20 flowers till now, and I only have 2 that have started turning into veggies. I was reading somewhere that they need a LOT more heat than tomatoes and may need plastic mulch put around them (I have never heard about plastic mulch). I only have the yard mulch I put it after mowing…

    Hi Sam, yes I wonder if the weather isn’t partly to blame. It’s been unseasonably cool so far this summer. Thanks for the input and good luck with yours! 🙂

  10. viji said

    My favorite jam, seeing those fresh strawberries – delightful. Viji

    Thanks so much, Viji 🙂

  11. roopa said

    wow those yummy strawberries look so delightfull. the jam making session must have a real enjoyable time with your mom. the jam looks rich and yummy! thks for sharing Linda.

    Thank you Roopa! The berries were very richly flavored, but not as sweet as some, so all that sugar (eek) was really necessary. They did make yummy jam though 🙂

  12. indosungod said

    Linda, now it is your post doing the hiding, I did not see this until now. Oh! just looking at that jam and those muffins make me feel so warm and cozy. Mom is truly an amazing lady. Hats off to her. Nothing like having folks closeby especially for the youngsters. My mom is visiting and I can see the delight in the kids’ eyes.

    Hi ISG, it is nice having them so close, and the kids have always visited summers etc. Sometimes I think if they weren’t so close, it wouldn’t be taken for granted. I bet with your mom visiting, your kids are spending all the time they can with her 🙂 Have a great day!

  13. sandeepa said

    You are so lucky Linda, to have your folks close by. I loved, loved, loved that hammock and your Mom looks like the sweetest grandma around

    Thank you Sandeepa for the kind comments… mom will be so pleased 🙂 I am lucky for sure… 🙂

  14. Anita said

    Those jars are like jewels! I think home made strawberry jam is amongst the best kind of jams! And you have so much of it! You know too much of a good thing… 😀

    Come on over and share some, Anita 🙂 I loved the jewel-like color. I’d like to do some more experimenting with jam.

  15. Suganya said

    Linda, I envy you :(. Its been almost 2 yrs since I have met my mom. Make the best use of this opportunity and try doing this more often. I only have memories and live moments with my mom:( Did i say yr mom looks very sweet? 🙂

    Thank you Suganya, that’s what I’m trying to remember — not taking things for granted 🙂 Hugs to you 🙂

  16. Manasi said

    Oh! those strwaberries are SOMETHING!!! I wud’ve popped as many in my mouth as in the Jam!!! And ur Mom is great!!
    That hammock is sooooooooo inviting!! U are lucky !!!

    Hi Manasi, and thank you so much… the strawberries were a treat for sure… we were eating our share 🙂

  17. InjiPennu said

    Hi Mom! Great to see you here! 🙂

    Thanks Inji — hope you’re well 🙂

  18. Dilip said

    wow…what a gem of a post…my mom would have the same pose stirring a large pan of mango pickles instead…I have never made jam before… so gonna try it…thanks you and mom…lovely post

    Thanks Dilip dear — hope you do try some jam — I thought it would be difficult but it’s really not at all! After all, you did master the oven… 😉

  19. MeltingWok said

    I don’t know why my comment went missing from here..anyhoo, your mom looks lovely, so is the jam..I so want to lie on that hammock enjoying some strawberry yogurt perhaps ? hehe 🙂

    WordPress was acting funny a few days there — sorry your comment got lost 😦 You’re invited to the hammock for strawberries any time 🙂

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