1.) Go strawberry picking EARLY in the season. (Don't wait like us and go the very last week of the season!)
It took us forever to get just 5lbs of strawberries!
2.) Do not take your two year old son. Well, at least not MY 2 year old son.
He got annoyed about 20 minutes after being there.
3.) Pick as much as you can.
4.) Take off all the stems and clean your strawberries really well.
5.) Soak your strawberries in sugar overnight. (~9 cups of strawberries to 6 cups of sugar).
6.) Cook your strawberry/sugar mixture on high. When it starts to boil, turn your temp down to about medium low and turn on a timer for 20 minutes.
*start heating up water in a very large pot *
7.) Also, your strawberries may start foaming up. Add about a tablespoon or two of butter and the foam should calm down.
7.) Stir for the entire 20 min.
8.) Put mixture into clean glass mason jars and tighten the tops on them. Boil the jars for at least 10 min - in the very large pot you started in step 6. (make sure the water in the pot will cover the entire jar.)
9.) Take jars out and let them 'pop'. If they don't pop - refrigerate and use within 3 weeks. I have never had a jar to not pop - even when I reuse tops - which is not recommended!
10.) Give away to family and friends and enjoy the wonderful compliments! Don't forget to keep a jar or two for yourself!
Note: To keep your strawberries as bright as they can be, squeeze a lemon (not the seeds!) in it while it is cooking. Which as you can see, I didn't do - that is why my strawberries are fushia.
Also, if you want your preserves to have an even consistency, put your strawberries in a food processor (which I also, didn't do) - But I DID use a potato masher to mash them up a bit. :)