I’ll start this by blaming the alcohol and the heat. And my family. Last week we were on vacation with my parents, siblings/spouses, and kids/cousins in Orlando. And it was hot. Like 100 degrees hot with stifling humidity. We went to Sea World and I nearly melted. Don’t believe me? Ask my husband. I have no tolerance for discomfort. And dropping hundreds of dollars to walk around a crowded theme park in 100 degree heat is pretty much my idea of pure pain. And at the end of the theme park days, my siblings and I all agreed that our kids were much happier at the pool with their cousins. I am pretty sure they will have better memories of swimming for hours on end (with their best buds in the whole world) than they will of trudging around theme parks and waiting in lines in practically dangerous heat. Or that is how we justified it.
My memories, however, will be a little dimmed. Because we sat around the pool in the heat, and my goodness, how could we not have a cold drink? It was HOT, remember? OK, maybe one cold beer with lunch. Or a frozen layered daiquiri with a rum floater. Or a mojito. Or three mojitos. Once it hits the lips, you know?
We had an absolutely fantastic time and I am sad today thinking of how hard it is to get the whole family together any more — as the kids get older and the distances get further and the schedules get busier, I realized that this was an almost once in a lifetime opportunity. So you will forgive me for not feeling like writing up recipes while I was away, won’t you?
And I realize that most of us are now past strawberry season. Frankly, I was lucky to get any jam made in the flurry of the last week of school, packing, and getting ready to go. So, if you have some strawberries left, give it a whirl. Otherwise, wait for raspberries or blueberries. I bet they would work equally well. I set out to create a batch of jam that used honey — because the standard recipe for strawberry freezer jam requires four cups of sugar. FOUR CUPS. Are you kidding me? That scared me off right away and I can’t believe I hadn’t given it a second thought before.
And I do freezer jam because I am still too scared to can. I am pretty convinced I’ll give my family botulism and everyone will make fun of me on my deathbed. “I can’t believe she didn’t sterilize the jars for 10.2 minutes. What was she thinking? It’s just so sad.”
So, here’s the recipe. Now I am off to take a run and detox from excessive alcohol and french fries.
Honey Strawberry Freezer Jam
Makes about six 8-10 oz. jars
4 pints of strawberries (about three pounds of berries)
1 cup of apple juice
1/2 cup of water
1 package of No Sugar Needed Pectin
1 T lemon juice
1 cup of honey
1. Clean and stem berries. Mash one layer of berries at a time in a large bowl until all berries are mashed.
2. In a small saucepan, whisk together apple juice, water, and pectin. Bring to a hard boil and boil for one minute.
3. Add honey and lemon juice to berries and stir well. Add in hot pectin mixture and stir well again to make sure everything is combined.
4. Ladle into clean jars (glass is fine) and screw on lids. Let sit in the refrigerator for a few hours to set up and then transfer to the freezer to store.