Sweet Letha and Strawberry Freezer Jam Recipe

The strawberry season is quite a bit longer this year than usual here in Savannah.  Due to warm weather, we have been getting sweet, ripe strawberries since early February.  And living only a half mile away from my neighbor's berry farm, it's great to be able to dash over to pick fresh berries whenever I need some.  

On this cool mid-morning,  I shouldered my camera and drove to the farm.   I was happy to see my poco Letha, and her mother uncovering the white floating row covers.  Letha is a daughter of migrant workers at the farm.   Her big dancing brown eyes greeted me, along with her cheerful "Hola, Miss Kay!"   When she saw me taking photos of the berries, curiosity got the best of her, and instead of helping her mama, she tagged along with me.  
I handed her a few pint-size baskets and asked if she could help me pick some not-so-big, red, shiny, pretty, stemmed berries.  Despite my numerous adjectives, she flashed me a smile and hopped over the beds like a graceful fawn and went to work.  

In no time, she had the baskets filled.  Her nimble, expert fingers did exactly what I asked for. She was tickled to be my helper/light bouncer/hand model and I was so happy to have her with me.  Her cheerfulness and sweet countenance made my day even brighter.  Gracias, Letha!  

These photos will be featured this coming Wednesday in Miss Sophie's column.  

Freezer Strawberry Jam

4 cups crushed fresh strawberries
3 cups sugar
1 (1.75 oz) pkg low sugar sure gel
3/4 c water

Rinse clean plastic containers and lids with boiling water. Dry thoroughly.

Crush strawberries thoroughly, one layer at a time. Measure exactly 4 cups crushed strawberries into a large bowl.

Mix sugar and pectin in large saucepan. Stir in water. Bring to boil on medium-high heat, stirring constantly. Boil and stir 1 minute. Remove from heat. Add strawberries; stir 1 minute or until well blended. FILL all containers immediately to within 1/2 inch of tops. Wipe off top edges of containers; immediately cover with lids. Let stand at room temperature 24 hours. Jam is now ready to use. Store in refrigerator up to 3 weeks or freeze extra containers up to 1 year. Thaw in refrigerator before using.