Want a simple, affordable and delicious wedding favour idea? Give your guests a sweet treat in tasty homemade strawberry (or really, any other fruit) jam. Now, of course I wanted to test the simplicity of this project and so I decided to DIM. That is, do-it-myself.
First step was to head out and buy REAL strawberries - not the kind that are the size of my head and tasteless. I found an organic market on the side of the road and bought three quarts. The colour alone was astonishing. I brought my berries home to wash and cut, the smell and texture reminded me of childhood.
In order to make homemade jam, you'll need to buy some Pectin at your local grocery store. Pectin is a natural fibre found in plant cell walls. It is water-soluble and binds with sugar and fruit acid to form a gel. I used a brand called Certo, which was convenient because there was a recipe inside the box which I will share with you.
Here is the recipe for cooked jam:
The process was easy peasy, I used a potato masher to crush the layers of strawberries. The whole thing took about a half hour and before I knew it, it was time to jar. You can get inexpensive decorative mason jars at Canadian Tire at less than a dollar a jar (125 mL is a good size). I would also suggest to take a look at your local dollar stores to see if you can snag a better deal.
Before putting your fresh jam in jars, be sure to sterilize them and the lids by boiling or placing them in the oven. Fill the jars to a 1/4 inch from the rim and twist the lid on extremely tight. In order to be sure the jars are properly sealed, the center of the lid will have popped. To test this, place your finger in the center of the lid and press. It should NOT move.
Once you've allowed the jam-filled jars to cool and settle, it's time for the fun part: decoration! Now this is really left up to your own imagination, budget and theme of your wedding. You can buy rolls of material at the dollar store, or visit your local fabric shop (ie. Fabricland) for items that are on sale. Spruce it up with mini flowers or berries, and be sure to tie it with a pretty ribbon. Take a look at what we did with just items from around the house.
I really love the rustic and personal touch of these jams, which is especially fitting for an outdoor summer wedding. Not to mention, they taste fabulous. Switch up strawberries for your favourite fruit and give it a try; have your wedding leave a great taste in your guest's mouth!