Jam Making: Girls’ Day, Susie Homemaker Style

29 Aug

One berry, two berry, pick me a…

I guess you can say I have always had a fondness for jam.

Growing up, Jamberry was one of my favorite books. I claimed I could read it all by myself when I really only had the words memorized, and my favorite part of going out for brunch is the crispy slices of hot toast smothered in the house jam. So let’s see, I love jam and I love to make things, what to do…

Yet another example of how the Bay Area has everything a person could ask for just a short drive away, Phipps Family Farm, located an hour south of San Francisco, offers U-Pick strawberries and the unique olallieberry which is primarily found in Washington, Oregon and California. Luckily, I have some awesome girl friends who are always up for an adventure and enthusiastically agreed to spend a Saturday with me berry picking and making jam (of course wine and snacks were also involved!).

Emily, Molly and I set off to the sleepy coastal town of Pescadero. Once we arrived at the farm and grabbed our berry buckets, we set out to the fields to begin picking.

Ms. Molly DeSario

Ms. Emily Townley

We worked hard picking and had the berry stains to prove it!

Gotta work for it!

Fresh picked berries!

Another perk of a visit to Phipps are stops at Harley Goat Farm for the most AMAZING goat cheese and Norms Market for fresh-baked artichoke bread. Man, these could easily be two of my favorite foods. I am especially in love with the honey lavender goat cheese and nothing is better than the first bite of the warm on the inside, crunchy on the outside artichoke bread. I could probably eat this stuff every day.

The (second) love of my life

We returned home with our jam-making supplies and sustenance and got down to business.

Step 1: Open Wine

Key ingredient

Now seriously, Step 1: Put on cute apron

Every good Susie Homemaker dresses the part...

Step 2: Make jam

We used the ollalieberry recipe on the Phipps website.

Ollalieberry Jam


  • 2 quarts (8 cups) ripe olallieberries, cleaned and stemmed
  • 1 packet of pectin (“sure-jell”)
  • 7 cups granulated sugar


1. In a large pot, crush the berries well.

2. Add packet of pectin and mix well.

3. Heat mixture on high heat until it reaches a full boil, stirring constantly.

4. Add the sugar all at once and mix well. Continue cooking mixture on high heat, stirring constantly until it reaches a full boil again. Cook one more minute, then remove pot from heat.

5. Skin any foam off the top. Pour into sterilized jars and seal.

Makes 8-9  cups of jam.

Every good Susie Homemaker tests her recipes along the way!

Second opinion?

Step 3: Prepare Martha-esque jar presentation

Molly with the art director

Emily hard at work on the keys

Step 4: Put it all together

Picture perfect

Charming tagline, Emily's brilliant idea!

A special version for a special someone!

5th and Final Step: Make crisp out of remaining berries 


The. End.


4 Responses to “Jam Making: Girls’ Day, Susie Homemaker Style”

  1. frugalfeeding August 30, 2011 at 5:47 am #

    I like step 1… the wine one… I don’t have a pretty apron… I just spent the morning making a decent amount of damson jam. It’s delicious. Great blog, love the cute jar coverings.

  2. sarahsonn August 30, 2011 at 8:23 am #

    @Frugalfeeding – Thanks for your comment! I have never heard of damson jam. I enjoyed your blog as well and can’t wait to try the Plum Muffin recipe! Cheers!

  3. Kathy Sonn August 31, 2011 at 1:25 pm #

    Great hearing about your trip–picking, making, jarring, finished product. Great Job! Keep up the blogging. I love reading and seeing what you are up to.Love Ya Lots!

    • sarahsonn August 31, 2011 at 8:17 pm #

      Thanks. It was a lot of fun and turned out really, really good! Mike got hooked on eating it on vanilla ice cream. Yum!

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