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Jelly Making Adventure


This week where I live, one of the grocery stores was having an awesome sale on strawberries - 3.99 for 4 pounds (that's a really great price here, I don't know about other parts of the country). I decided to use the opportunity to do something that I've been wanting to do for a while - make my own jelly!

I started with a pack of Sure-Jell (although I am questioning the truth of the name...more on that later). Basically the recipe was pretty simple -
4 cups of strawberries
3 cups of sugar
1 cup water
1 box Sure Jell (the less sugar kind)

Simple enough, right? Well, I must first say that I am not much one for following recipes. I see them as a guide, really. So any and all failure is fully my fault, and I accept that responsibility.

Back to the recipe - I cut up my strawberries and food processed them away until they were jelly-like mush. I went ahead and did the whole 4 quarts that I had (mistake). Then I combined the sugar and sure jell into a pot and mixed around. I added the water, and cooked it until it was fully boiling. At this point I have to tell you that I only used 1 1/2 cups of sugar. I read on a forum that I can't find now (sorry!) some people saying that they had cut down on the sugar with no problems, so I figured what the hey!? I might as well try. I typically try to make things as low-ish calories as I can, especially if you aren't even sacrificing taste. Well, I'm not sure if it was the lack of sugar or the altitude or a combination of both, but my jelly does not jiggle. It's more like sugary strawberry soup. The flavor is amazing, I must say, but I'm not sure exactly what I'm going to be able to use it for. I went ahead and put 3 of my 4 containers in the freezer, figuring that maybe a little chill would help it to solidify. I'm thinking it won't really matter, cause jelly gets pretty runny when you put it on something hot anyway, right?

All in all, I'd say the jelly making adventure was still a success. I cannot even describe to you how good the jelly tastes. So what if its not really jelly, per se. It still tastes good. And now I have about 3 cups of leftover strawberry mush that I didn't need for the jelly (see, I told you it was a mistake to puree them all at once!) so maybe I'll get another package of the pectin and try again....or maybe I will try and find something else yummy that requires ground up strawberries!

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