After picking berries last week we put most of them away in the freezer to use in our favorite fruit salad throughout the next year. The kids also love snacking on frozen blueberries, so a lot of them will go to that as well. But we also made two jams that were firsts for us: raspberry and blackberry. Both recipes were easy, standard jam because I didn't remove seeds.
This morning we decided to go ahead and buy more strawberries and attempt a big batch of jam with those. Somehow we never made it out to pick them this year and I knew I would regret it if I didn't make strawberry jam while good berries are still available. All the big kids helped wash and mash and we all love to wait and listen for the pings that mean our jars are sealed. My favorite part is lining up the completed jars of jam on the shelve in the basement and feeling like we somehow sealed away part of our summer sweetness, that we can open up throughout the winter whenever we need a dose of sunshine.