In my professional career, I’ve been so lucky with so many wonderful experiences. One of the best was when I worked at a company in a beautiful building, with a lovely atrium, and my own office was pretty terrific too. Better than all that were my funny, smart co-workers. One friend in particular, each morning, would always stop me and say, “well, good morning, sunshine!” (oh, she was just gorgeous and had the cutest voice ever) and that simply made my day, every day.
For whatever reason, making this strawberry jam made me think of her, and how warm it was to always be greeted as ‘sunshine’. Everyone deserves to be someone’s sunshine!
Ingredients – this makes a little over four cups of jam:
2 lbs. strawberries
1 tbsp water
1 tbsp vanilla extract
4-1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup lemon juice
Have mason jars in process (I used four of the one cup size jelly jars) and timed to be ready for the point at which the strawberry jam is ready to be poured inside.
Hull and halve each strawberry. Place the strawberries and water in a large pan and cook over medium heat for 12-15 minutes, until the berries are releasing their juices and becoming soft.
Add the vanilla, sugar, and lemon juice and stir well. Continue cooking the mixture another ten or fifteen minutes so that it reaches 225* (thread stage) on a candy thermometer.
Remove any foam from the pan with a spoon.
Pour the hot jam into the jars and process for canning.