Preservin’ the Last Days of Summer

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Preservin’ the Last Days of Summer

By Paula Deen

I have such a hard time saying goodbye to summer. Yes, I’ve been running around like a chicken with my head cut off, but something happens during these months that makes hard-working days a little easier to swallow. Maybe it has something to do with the warm nights on the dock, or seeing my grandbabies splashing in the pool. Whatever that “something” is, I’d like to bottle it up for those dark, chilly days that are just around the corner.


But if I can’t preserve the magic of summer, I can at least save some of the flavor. Canning is one way to keep memories of days at the beach and water-hose fights on the tip of your tongue. And the best part is, it doesn’t have to be all labor intensive to be so freakin’ good. My favorite preserves are strawberry. You just put the jam in containers and put ‘em in the freezer, or put ‘em in the fridge if you’re fixing to eat them right away. No processing; no fuss. Even Michael and my grandson Henry can “help” out, mostly by getting that gooey goodness all over their faces. And it is out of this world—just like the woman who introduced me to the recipe.

Bubbles Greene is one of the finest women I’ve ever met—it’s like she gets up everyday and lives for others. Truly. She and I were both born and raised in Albany, Georgia, but because she is 5 years younger than me, we ran in different circles. In fact, we didn’t actually become friends until I moved to Savannah. She was getting ready to send her stepdaughter to the Savannah College of Art and Design, and like any momma from a small, Southern town, she couldn’t stand her child being someplace place where she didn’t know anybody. So one day Bubbles called me up and asked if her stepdaughter could give me a ring in case of an emergency. Of course I said yes. Then Bubbles started visiting Savannah more regularly. She had come to my house when I first started The Bag Lady—I mean just started. And that spitfire of a woman jumped right into the kitchen with me and worked like a demon. We became the best of friends over egg salad sandwiches.


That was 25 years ago. Today, Bubbles still lives in Albany where she cares for her elderly parents and watches over my Aunt Peggy, cooking for her whenever she’s feeling under the weather. I don’t know what I’d do without Bubbles. She’s the best friend you could ever have—the kind of friend who’s always giving so much of herself.

The first time she gave me a little container of her strawberry jam as a gift, she said, “Paula, people have told me this is the best strawberry preserves they’ve ever had.” Y’all, I tasted it and I couldn’t agree more. It’s just one of those delightful homemade treats that you can’t put a price on.

Money can’t keep delicious strawberries in season or long summer nights from fading. It also can’t buy a friend like Bubbles. I suppose that’s why I consider this recipe to be both precious and priceless.


Freezer Strawberry Jam

You need:
2 cups crushed strawberries (about a quart)
4 cups sugar, in a separate bowl
¾ cup water
1 box SURE-JELL Fruit Pectin

Rinse 5 (1 cup) plastic containers and lids with boiling water. Dry thoroughly. Stem and crush strawberries, 1 cup at a time.  Measure 2 cups crushed fruit into a large bowl. Stir in sugar.  Let stand for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Mix water and pectin in small saucepan. Bring to a boil on high heat, stirring occasionally. Continue boiling and stirring about a minute. Add to fruit mixture and stir 3 minutes or until sugar is dissolved. 
Fill all containers immediately to within ½ inch of tops. Wipe off top edges of containers and cover with lids. Let stand at room temperature for 24 hours. Jam is now ready to use. Store jam in refrigerator up to 3 weeks or in freezer up to 1 year. Thaw in refrigerator before using.

Try Some of These Other Preserve Recipes!
Paula’s Homemade Blueberry Lemon Preserves
Lemon Fig Refrigerator Preserves
Strawberry Jam
Raspberry Fig Preserves
Strawberry Apricot Preserves


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Reader Comments:


God Bless you & yours for all you do for everyone.We love you miss Paula and shame on those that have hurt you but God will take care of those that hurt each other.You go girl because you are awesome:) Love & Prayers to all Rita & Kenneth.Thank You for this easy freezer jam

By Rita Maxey on September 03, 2013


I have read about the freezer jam. I really am going to try it next year when the strawberries are in season. I also just want you to know I miss seeing you on TV. There really isn't any other person I like to watch. I hope you will be coming back. Try to go on the Blaze TV. I think they could use a show like yours to fill in some times. I have found a couple of women whom I can watch but it is still not the same. Hang in there Paula remember when someone is pointing their finger at you there are three more pointing at themselves. So remember we love you out here, Tomorrow I am going to stuff peppers. I seem to have a great crop this year. I have given my neighbors mother about 20. That still leaves me about 50 or so. I still have about 20 or so little peppers on the plants still, I also dug up about half my potatoes. I think I got some of the biggest ones in the town. At least that is what my neighbors say. I enjoy my garden so much. It reminds me of the things you would say on TV about your family members. I can tell you that it is so refreshing to have someone that can remember the good things about people and pass it on. I know my Mom would have loved to watch and hear you like I did. Come back if you can. I just ordered your magazine. It is very yummy looking and I can't wait to try some of the different dishes. Cherrie V.

By Cherrilie Vonnahme on September 02, 2013


My mouth is watering just thinking of that strawberry jam on hot biscuits. Yum, yum

By Ida Dohoney on September 01, 2013


I have ate chicken with fettuccine before it is so good. love Paula.

By Donna Eichhorn on August 31, 2013


When many years I lived in Missouri we canned and preserved all summer. This strawberry jam recipe was a favorite and not only for toast and biscuits. It's FABULOUS as a topping for homemade vanilla ice-cream! Try it, you'll like it!

By Connie on August 31, 2013


Hi Paula - I know you are diabetic and so am I. Please send some of your "lighter" recipes for us diabetics. Thanks. Lynne

By Lynne Dobbels on August 31, 2013


Paula,I am so glad to be on your e-mail list. We deep South girl's have deep feelings and are one great lady.

By Sandy on August 30, 2013


it is so nice to see you landed back on your feet. my family and i love you and wish you luck on every thing you do. god bless you and yours.we reaLY LOVE YOU AND WISH YOU THE BEST.

By sandy porter on August 30, 2013


Love seeing lots of Paula stuff, thanks for keeping her on, not like all the others.

By Shar on August 30, 2013


Hi Paula, We miss you--good to see you have a smile on your face. When are you coming back? Start your own channel girl friend! Praying for you all

By TXTbone on August 30, 2013


My 4 year old grandson, Zach, spends just about every weekend at my house. He loves to help in the kitchen no matter what you are making. A month ago, I helped him make this jam. I slice the strawberries to make it easier for him to crush them. He crushes the strawberries, measures the sugar and does all of the stirring. I do the sure-jell on the stove and put the jam in jars. He does the rest. Now he is on a jam kick and wants to make jam everytime he is here. So far, we have made four batches of strawberry and one each of peach, blueberry-lemon and strawberry-lime. Zach wants to tell Paula that he loves Paula Deen Roast.

By Susan Mollohan on August 25, 2012


You are my favorite cook! I have an overwhelming amount of ripe tomatoes and would like to "cold pack" can my homemade salsa. I prefer not to cook the salsa, if I don't need to, because I like the crispness of the ingredients. I'm not sure how to cold pack---or really, the best way to can salsa. Can you give me any suggestions? Thank you.

By Donna on August 15, 2012



By LISA EVERETT on August 15, 2012


Paula do you think this Freezer Strawberry Jam would work with Splender or some other non sugar sweetner?

By Delois on August 14, 2012


Putting away homemade apple butter had enough to make 2 pints. Also canned 7 quarts tomatoes yum! Have a peach pie filling in the freezer for later to. Thanks Paula for that idea.

By westtexasgirl51 on August 14, 2012


Ms Paula I just had some of your strawberry preserves and they were the best i ever ate.I am constantly looking at your recipes to find something new for dinner. Thank you so much for always being so perky and helping the rest of us fix healthy delicious meals.Oh and that son of yours has learned so well from watching a man cook !!!

By Thelma King on August 14, 2012


Same recipe my mom used and your right it's the best. We always had mom's freezer jam. From the end of 1 season to the next. Mom always canned all our fruits and vegetables for the winter. She would start with the berries then move onto the veggie's. We had a huge garden Raspberries,blackberries,elderberries,and others were all wild and picked by hand....No time to get into trouble there was always something to do in the garden. But hey we didn't go hungry when the snowballs were flying...

By Dorothy Leins on August 14, 2012



By Iva (Barr) McNeely on August 14, 2012


My favorite flavor of summer is blueberry. Reminds me of picking blueberries from a canoe on Long Pond in Maine. Wild blueberries, YUM!!!!

By Maureen Noll on August 14, 2012


I love the taste of hot tomato soup in the midle of winter so I would say that home caned tomatoes would be minefor saving the taste of Summer.

By Donald I. Miller on August 14, 2012

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