yesterday after successfully completing our first farmers’ market, (thanks to johnny “cookie” parker for the immense amount of help he’s provided), brian and i sat down on our porch in happy, exhausted disbelief.  at the beginning of the season we were terrified of CSAs, grocery store and restaurant accounts, and farmers’ markets.  and yesterday evening, in that same state of exhausted disbelief, we realized that we have experienced all four.  wow.  it feels like this small success will afford us the right to stop for a minute and rest… and it did… for the evening.  and today we are back at it, brian to the farm to finish his monster irrigation project (thanks on his behalf to AJ from EWING, michael, and to johnny “cookie” parker’s back), and me to the making of strawberry jam with the leftovers from yesterday’s market… and then off to work for the evening.

i will leave you with this delicious recipe for strawberry jam from the Barefoot Contessa


  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 large lemon, zested and juiced
  • 1 1/2 pints fresh strawberries, hulled and halved


Combine the sugar, lemon zest, and lemon juice in a small saucepan and cook over very low heat for 10 minutes, until the sugar is dissolved. Add the strawberries and continue to cook over very low heat for 20 minutes, until the strawberries release some of their juices and the mixture boils slowly. Cook until a small amount of the juice gels on a very cold plate. (I keep one in the freezer.) Pour carefully into 2 pint canning jars and either seal or keep refrigerated. Use immediately, or follow proper canning guidelines below.

Tips on Sterilizing Jars:

Properly-handled sterilized equipment will keep canned foods in good condition for years. Sterilizing jars is the first step of preserving foods.

Sterilizing Tips:

Jars should be made from glass and free of any chips or cracks. Preserving or canning jars are topped with a glass, plastic, or metal lid, which has a rubber seal. Two piece lids are best for canning, as they vacuum seal when processed.

To sterilize jars, before filling with jams, pickles, or preserves, wash jars and lids with hot, soapy water. Rinse well and arrange jars and lids open sides up, without touching, on a tray. Leave in a preheated 175 degree F oven for 25 minutes. Or, boil the jars and lids in a large saucepan, covered with water, for 15 minutes.

Use tongs when handling the hot sterilized jars, to move them from either boiling water or the oven. Be sure the tongs are sterilized too, by dipping the ends in boiling water for a few minutes.

As a rule, hot preserves go into hot jars and cold preserves go into cold jars. All items used in the process of making jams, jellies, and preserves must be clean. This includes any towels used, and especially your hands.