‘Tis the Season for Strawberry Jam

Just received notification from Glade Link Farms in Woodsboro/Keymar that strawberry season opens tomorrow!  We have our first strawberry patch here in Sykesville, but we won’t have the quantity to support the strawberry recipes I plan to make.  In addition to Roger’s amazing tarts, I want to make strawberry jam for Christmas gifts.  The time to act is now!

Official strawberry season in Maryland is approximately May 20 to June 20.  I know how to make straight strawberry jam and jellies, but I’m looking for the recipe that makes a regular jar of preserves into a gift.   I found a recipe for Jalapeno Strawberry Jam on Allrecipes.com, and the person who submitted it says this is one of her family’s favorites at Christmas.  I’ll be trying this one first.

If you don’t have time to make the jam now, you can freeze the whole strawberries and use them when you’re ready.  There was an another fig and strawberry jam recipe, but the first crop of my figs won’t be ready until late June, so one has to wait for the other.  If I go with cran-strawberry jam, I’ll have to can in the fall, and that’s probably too difficult with the holidays only weeks away.

Presentation is everything, though.  I’ll be scrolling through Pinterest and other sites to find just the right labels, jars and fabric to make an impression.  I found this picture on weddingbee.com as a suggestion for wedding favors with a label that says “Spread the Love.”  I think I can turn that label into a seasonal message, “Spread Joy.”   It reminds me of July 2010, when Gini and I made 6 dozen or so jars of blueberry jam for my wedding. It was a lot to take on, but we finished in one day, and we had quite a time making the jam. (I volunteered that we make the mess in her kitchen—after all, what are friends for?)  I remember that the long day of picking and canning ended with Roger bringing vanilla ice cream for an ice cream and blueberry syrup celebration.

If you have a good strawberry jam recipe or gift idea to share, let me know.