Channeling my inner June Cleaver

A few weeks ago, I made a bargain with my friend, Maren. I told her that if she would teach me how to make jam, I would teach her how to make homemade chicken noodle soup.

Gabi has posted about the four-generation family recipe for chicken noodle soup here, which I now consider to be a large portion of Hannah's future dowry. I might have married the Husband for this recipe alone, had I known.

It is the same recipe I faithfully use, and it is truly amazing. My favorite part is actually using half an egg shell to measure the milk for the noodles. Something about that just seems so old-fashioned, so earthy.

What? I can be earthy. I can be old fashioned.

Shut up.

ANYway, I urge you to take advantage of the season, head out, and get yourself some strawberries, sugar, pectin, and jars. Because the joy of taking this:

While remembering to do a little bit of this:

And laughing with someone while they do this:

Will ultimately net you a large batch of this:

Pure, red, sugary heaven.

Which, by the way, I have had to ration. The little (and big) people around here seem to think they can have jam on just about everything. It's killing me how fast we're going through this stuff. I feel like I need to stash it safely away from their grubby mitts and growling stomachs.

I decided to hide the rest in the freezer under the vegetables. We all KNOW the children will never look there.

Neither will the Husband.

So, without further rambling on my part, I give you the recipe:

3 cups mashed berries
5 cups sugar (I know, don't even say it, Robyn)
1 cup water
1 box pectin

Wash and stem the berries. Mash by hand (or in a blender if you're lazy like us). Stir sugar into berries and let sit for 20 minutes.

In the meantime, add pectin to water and stir until dissolved. Bring water and pectin to a boil, and boil for one full minute. Add water and pectin to berry mixture; stir until combined. Pour into clean, dry jam jars, leaving a little head room at the top. Cover with lids. Let jam jars sit on your counter for 24 hours, then store in the freezer.

Or until your piggy little munchkins get a hold of some and practically eat it by the spoonfuls.

Also critical to the success of the recipe is having some warm, soft, homemade bread handy. It helps you ensure that your blood sugar will remain in a constant diabetic state for at least a week straight.

Which any good jam really ought to do.