web stat counter

After moving to our new home almost 2 years ago I never even thought about where I would find fresh produce. Last year we had so many issues with Phebe I didn’t get to put many things up. My poor son was about ready to have me horsewhipped if I didn’t provide him with more homemade strawberry jam.  I started asking around about where to find fresh strawberries and I finally received a good lead on fresh berries…even though it was 40 minutes away.  It actually ended up being further away than that because I forgot my purse and had to go back ½ ways to meet up with my hubby who was kind enough to bring it to me.

When I was asking around about berries everyone kept asking what I did with them. When I told them I made jam they started asking to come and watch because they had never made it. I was amazed at how many people had never done this. So I planned on having a group of ladies over for a fun evening of jam making. However, no one’s schedule seemed to match up with mine. Sooooooooooooooooo I am going to post how I make my freezer jam.

I've been making this since I was a teenager and I hope to soon pass the torch of jam making on to one of my children.  

Yeah right!

Asher isn't allowed to have jam...too much sugar. So he eats the berries til they come out his ears.  :o)

These are all the ingredients.

These are the supplies I use. (I forgot to put the whisk in the picture)

This is 4 quarts of berries. This is also the boring part. Don't tell my kids...I tell them this is the best part.  ;-)

The finished product...nice and clean!

OK so this is how the recipe says to mash them. I used to and then I woke up...20 years later. Grrrr!!!!

Once I wised up I started using a food processor.  Just remember to keep it chunky. At least that's how we like it.

In a saucepan pour 3 cups of sugar. Isn't that nuts? This is the low sugar recipe too!

Then add a box of Sure*Jell, whisk well, and add 1 cup of water.

Heat over medium heat, and stir until your arm breaks off. 

After it comes to a rolling boil stir for another minute. Ok, so my first batch I have no clue how long it boiled because poor Mr. Asher was having a nervous breakdown I needed to attend to. 

Pour boiling mixture into 4 cups of crushed berries. Stir for another minute.

Pour into 2 cup containers.

Let them set for 24 hours before placing them in the freezer. 

4 quarts of fresh berries will actually make 8 containers. I made 24 containers tonight and plan to make 24 tomorrow.  I'm hoping this will last us a couple of years.

I don’t know when it started.

I feel as if it has been my whole life, or at least as long as I can remember.

I don’t feel lovable.

Does that make sense?

What I mean is I don’t feel like anyone could ever love me.  I’m not sure why I have felt this way.  I often wonder if it’s because my birthmother gave me up for adoption.  How was I not good enough for her as an infant to not be loved?  My mom (adopted mom) always said that my biological mom loved me most to be able to let another family raise me. I’ve never believed that.

As a child the only time I felt loved is when I did something right and my family praised me.  I really shouldn't say “as a child” because I’ve felt that way even as an adult. I’ve written before about not really believing God could love me. I’ve just never felt worthy of His love, but 2 ½ years ago I finally accepted that God did love me. I realized there was nothing I could do to make Him love me less and nothing I could do to make Him love me more.  What an amazing day that was.  I finally realized that being His child made Him love me unconditionally.  That was it!

This has not carried over into my everyday life however.  I still didn’t believe that people loved me.  This included my family and friends….yes, even my husband.  It’s not as if he never told me…I just didn’t believe him. I’ve been married before and have heard “I love you” many times.  If it was true I believe I would have never been divorced…twice.

Jesse, however, is a whole new story. I have NEVER met ANYONE who is as patient as he. I will be the first to admit that I have NO patience. It’s really quite ridiculous. He has helped me greatly in this area!

When Jesse and I first started telling each other that we loved the other I thought he was lying. I have told him many times how I feel. He just continued to proclaim his love.  Others have done the same thing, but Jesse didn’t stop with words.   I have said hundreds of times that actions speak louder than words. He has proven this to be true. I hate to admit this but during the first year of knowing each other I did everything I could think of to get him to leave me. I didn't have any desire in the world to get married again and have him leave me. I ignored him, belittled him, made fun of him, and even told him to leave. He never said a word. He just continued to love. When our son died I honestly thought that when I came home from the hospital Jesse would be gone. I felt like Uriah was really the only reason Jesse stayed with me. So when he died I thought Jesse would be in the wind. Instead he continued to love me. When my daughter started having numerous medical issues and the medical bills grew to new heights I asked him when he was going to leave. Who in their right mind would stay around through something like this? He just shook his head at me and loved.

He’s done so many things for me…too many to list.  I find it amazing that a couple of months ago was when I finally realized he loved me. You’ll laugh when I tell you when I knew. Jesse had been working two jobs and was rarely home. I was pregnant again and quite sick and, to be honest, very depressed. It was a Saturday and he was working around the house…doing things I would have normally done in the past. By the end of the day he was exhausted. I was upstairs getting the baby ready for bed and he came in to kiss me good-bye. I asked him where he was going and he said he was taking the van into town to vacuum it out. Jesse HATES vacuuming the van. The last time I got him to do it was just before bringing Asher home from the hospital. He knew I couldn't do it and he knew I wanted it done. Jesse is a typical man and never seems to notice when the vehicle needs to be vacuumed.  I used to do it every Saturday…silly me. Anyway, I turned to Asher and said, “Asher, your daddy really loves me and I hope you grow up to be just like him.” Jesse just smiled and headed to town. I sat there and cried my eyes out. Why? Because it was the first time in my life I felt unconditional love from another human. I’m 41 years old and had never felt that before. I truly believe there is nothing I can do to make him love me more or love me less. What an amazing feeling!

Why am I writing this? Because I want the world to know what a wonderful man I have. I want my husband to know I finally realize he is telling the truth. I want any man or woman out there that wonders if anyone could love them to know that the answer is YES! I want to thank my Lord and Savior for bringing Jesse into my life. I want people to possibly learn to love unconditionally. I want to tell my husband, “Honey, I love you with all of my heart and I am so proud to call you mine!”