Mama’s Strawberry Jelly
In Loving Memory of Patsy Marie Paul
Submitted by Melissa
times the heart of a recipe is one of the most important ingredients included.
The memories and the love are just as important as the sugar, flour and butter,
etc. This is how I feel about Mama's Strawberry Jelly.
Mama passed away in 1995, leaving behind a husband, 6 children
and their families to cherish her memory. She also had her first
great-grandchild on the way. That little one is now 14 years old. Her name is
Hannah Marie (the Marie is after my Mother) and I am her godmother. My goal has
been to make my Mother as real to Hannah and the other grandchildren as possible
by sharing recipes and memories.
Please accept this special gift of Mama’s strawberry jelly recipe
as a token of our love. For you see, it’s the result of group effort. First, God
grew the ripe, fragrant berries and Mama loved them so much that she wanted to
have enough to last through the winter months. So, she sent Daddy to the store
to buy an ample supply. Next, we washed and sliced them and put them in the
freezer. Mama enjoyed them until she was called away to Heaven. After she was
gone, the berries waited patiently to be used, but I left them alone. I made the
excuse that I was to busy to do anything with them. But, now I realize that I
just wanted to keep something that Mama had touched and enjoyed. Preparing those
berries was one of the last projects we did together.
Years earlier, when I was a young bride, Mama had bought me my
first canning equipment. She was always interested in what kind of jam, jelly or
pickle I was trying out at the time. What could be more fitting than to make
jelly out of Mama’s strawberries? While I made the jelly, my heart was happy and
sad all at the same time. My heart ached because I missed her so much (it still
does). My heart also sang because nothing would make Mama more happy than to
share another gift with the ones she loved. She would be grateful to touch our
everyday life in a way that we could see, smell and taste.
I shared the jelly with my family and I hoped that as they
enjoyed it they would remember the light in Mama’s eyes and see her beautiful
smile. I hoped they would feel the warmth of her hand close to their heart.
Those little jars of jelly were packed with Mama’s love! She wanted to be
remembered. She loved everyone so much and she would never want to be forgotten.
She would want her memory to live on even as she is alive in her new life in
Heaven. I couldn’t bring myself to open my jar of jelly. It was too precious.
What could I do with it? It had to be something special. I decided to enter it
in the fair we used to have here in town very fourth of July. For years I had
entered lots of cakes, pies, jellies and preserves and Mama always insisted that
I call as soon as I had found out where I had placed in each category. To my
surprise, mine and Mama’s jelly won a third place ribbon! I know she was proud
The strawberries are gone and the jelly is gone but Mama’s love
is still shining brightly in my heart. The best way that I can honor her is by
doing my best every day and by trying to uphold the values her and my Dad taught
me. As long as I’m alive, her memory will live on and I’ll never look at a jar
of strawberry jelly the same way again!
3 quarts strawberries
3˝ cups prepared juice
4˝ cups sugar
1 box powdered pectin
Wash and remove caps from berries. Crush berries and simmer for
10 minutes or so, covered, stirring occasionally. Strain juice through several
layers of cheesecloth. Measure sugar; set aside. Stir pectin into prepared juice
in a medium size pan. Bring to a full boil over high heat. Add sugar, return to
a full, rolling boil. Boil hard 1 minute., stirring constantly. Remove from
heat. Carefully ladle into hot, sterilized jars and seal (process if desired).
Store in a cool, dry place.
Yield: 6 to 8 small jars.
Submitted by Melissa
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