Earlier this month I had the good fortune of flying home to D.C. to visit my family and friends. The official reason for the trip was to celebrate the release of this amazing book my dad wrote and to help my mom cook and bake for the book launch party. The book, Junius and Albert’s Adventures in the Confederacy, is a well written, highly entertaining, almost unbelievable true story of two New York Tribune newspaper reporters who are taken captive and jailed by Confederate soldiers during the Civil War. Without giving too much away, this page turner contains an amazing attempt at escape and show cases my dad’s knack for exposing the absurd and comical moments in history. It is also where I found the inspiration for the official unofficial slogan for this blog: “A little nonsense now and then is relish for the best of men”. Go ahead, pick up a copy, it will make your summer way more entertaining.
Because the book takes place in the deep South, Mom and I thought the food for the book party should have a Southern flair as well. We made tubs of pimento cheese, dozens of biscuits, pounds of pickled shrimp and well over 100 red velvet cupcakes. In between the baking and the book talk we made time to pick the first of the season strawberries and make jars of my mom’s famous strawberry freezer jam.
Freezer jam, unlike shelf stable canned jam, doesn’t cook the fruit at all. Instead the pectin is cooked with a little water on the stove and folded into the hulled, sliced strawberries. The result is a bright ruby hued jam with the most fresh strawberry flavor you will ever find. You’re welcome in advance.
Mom’s Strawberry Freezer Jam
(using the recipe on the back of the Ball® jar, but Mom get’s the credit because she has been making and gifting this recipe for as long as I can remember eating strawberry jam)
4 cups strawberries, crushed
2 cups sugar
1 package Ball® Pectin
3/4 cup water
Wash, hull and quarter strawberries. Crush.
Mix strawberries with sugar and let sit. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan mix water and pectin. Boil over medium heat for 1 full minute.
Stir pectin mixture into strawberries. Let stand until room temperature and fill into freezer safe containers.
Freeze until you are ready to use, then defrost in the fridge and enjoy fresh strawberry flavors all year long.