Bread and Jam

comments: 88


I made eight jars of strawberry freezer jam to use as hostess gifts this summer. I'm not super big on jelly or cooked jam, but I do love freezer jam because it's crazy red (because it's uncooked) and tastes so fresh. I used these pretty jars instead of plastic containers. (I'm no expert, but I freeze my glass jars and leftover containers regularly and have never had a problem; you need to leave room for things to expand a bit when they freeze.) I actually think I'll make more, because the jam keeps for a year in the freezer and it's a nice present.


Especially if you bake some bread to go with. Ever since my big day a year or so ago when I baked bread from scratch for the first time in my whole entire life, I have been baking bread (or making homemade pizza dough) about every week or so. I use my Kitchen Aid now, I must confess. If you have one, bread is SO EASY. So easy. Try it. It kneads the whole thing for you. I use the recipe for A Loaf of Fresh White Bread (except I substitute 1 cup of whole-wheat flour for 1 of the cups of all-purpose flour [sometimes I use bread flour if I remember to buy it] ) from the glorious River Cottage Family Cookbook. I love that thing. I have made a few other breads but this one is my favorite. I follow the recipe exactly, except that I also turn down my oven a little bit, to 450 degrees F for the first ten minutes, then 400 for the last ten or so minutes. I also don't take it out of the pan and turn it upside down for another five minutes because I find that at that point the bread is still a bit soft and it always flops over to one side and squishes. I use a very good dose of olive oil on my bread pans and that seems to crisp up the bottom crust quite nicely.


I made two loaves yesterday and wrapped one up for my next-door neighbors, who are having a beautiful fence built along the property border that we share. I used one of my precious crazy-expensive but seriously adorable chef medallions on top of the jar, because they are cool people (and, er, they are paying for the fence, so I figured it was the least I could do).


I bought these little labels for myself with my birthday money from Andy's grandpa this past year. I probably would've gotten them sooner but it took me about three years to pick out which drawing I wanted (there are about a million) as they are all so stinkin cute I couldn't decide.


I walked the bread and jam next door to the cacophony of saws, drills, nail guns, air compressors and all sorts of other tools I try not to have to know how to use. It's been pretty amazing watching how the fence comes together. I came back to my house and made myself a peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich, and then made two more, one for each of the worker guys, who have been about five feet away from my kitchen window all week and who I could hear (I'm not making this up) talking to each other about peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwiches just moments before they even saw me walk outside the first time. Voila. Your wish is my command. The shock on their faces, when I came back out and handed them each a little still-warm parchment-wrapped red-and-white-striped-string-tied sammy? Martha Stewart must get that look all the time. They're all, "For reals?" I'm all, playing it cool, "Yah, no prob." Inside: [Giggling]. It was pretty cute.

I didn't have any brothers growing up, so whenever I hear guy conversations I about fall over laughing. Then again, I myself have, without a shred of embarrassment, written entire blog posts about pancakes. And cats. And the pleater. So I probably shouldn't laugh.


wow. that looks so amazing. LOVE strawberry jam. reminds me of my youth. and your jam labels are too freakin' cute!

Adorable. I bet those guys will be re-telling that story for the rest of their lives: the day the sweet neighbor lady brought them PB&J.


I'm the same way about strawberry jam. I love the frozen jam, so red and fresh tasting. The homemade bread also. The kitchenaid does make it quite easy to make bread. The mother of Custom clothing (Bella Jean Boutique)

I always love to stop by and see what you are doing! I love the labels, too. I need to make some bread,'ve inspired me.
Val :-)

Oh how adorable you are! I cannot even explain to you how much I love your blog. Thank you for sharing little bits of happiness with us. Lara

Where do I start?! After seeing this, we just have try your freezer jam. That luxurious red does pack a punch indeed, and who doesn't love one less step in jam making. Are those pink and red ceramic pans? "Outrageous!" as Lionel Richie would say. I love it!
I am a fan of cute containers so those jars are just it for me. Thanks for the inspiring post.

Will you pleeeeeeease be my fairy godmother? For heaven's sake; you are awesome.

Oh Dear Sweet Alicia,
Your blog is always such a delight. The stories, the baking, the mending, the picnics and such. If I ever I move to Portland I'm going to make sure I land smack dab in the middle of your hood. That way I can bring you fresh eggs from my hens and wait patiently for your results!
Happy Summer, H

Laura A. says: June 30, 2010 at 12:36 PM

Hee. You're going to get the best fence in all of Portland, maybe the world. And I'm sure if you ever do it again those guys are available. Especially if they also get to scratch Clover's ears.

You are one special neighbor!!

I have never made jelly in the freezer before. Actually I didn't know you could do it. Freeze strawberries, sure, but freeze jelly? Lovely idea and this would free up my time this year! Thanks!

You've got to be the best "neighbor lady" ever!

I loved your story of guerilla kindness!!

Mmmm, we just made 5 pints each of strawberry and raspberry freezer jam (yay farmers markets!) and I'm working on making fresh plain yogurt to eat with the jam (I've made a couple batches, but it hasn't turned out just right yet - not bad, just not quite right). I'm excited for the next batch, as I think I'm going to get it this time!

This is so adorably cute!! I just love visualizing the looks on the guys' faces as for the first time in their lives they had pb&j delivered to them in a "white paper package tied up in string."

what wonderful ideas, you clever minx!

First the compliment, amazing and beautiful. Ok, now for the scoop, please will you share the source for the string and the medallions? Luckily for my waist online is devouring with eyes only!

Beautiful jam and bread! I love workmen conversations. I had 2 washing machine repairmen at our home once. They were childhood friends who didn't get to work together often. They chattered and laughed the whole time they were here. At the end, they were plotting how to get assigned on jobs as a team. What a hoot, and very sweet.

oh my my my! I love strawberry freezer jam and haven't made any in years. So sad! I may have to use that activity as an incentive to get my kitchen all moved in (we just moved).

And now to drool over the Felix Doolittle site. You are bad! LOL

Those last three lines could have come straight out of my head, if you just substitute cupcakes and overlocker for pancakes and pleater. I love it!

Love labels are so beautiful! And you're generosity is infectious I must say! I kind of wish I was a construction worker right now. :)

You are just too cool! :)

you are something else...those guys...can you imagine what they were thinking?!!!! you made their often do you get a PBJ on homemade bread with homemade jam??? i am so glad you posted about freezer jam as i have always wanted to try some....i didn't know anyone who had made it and i have only done the cooked kind so i am all excited to try it post!

As soon as I opened your post and saw the jam, I could smell warm strawberries. I'm drooling now, right here at my desk at work. Do you deliver?


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About Alicia Paulson


My name is Alicia Paulson
and I love to make things. I live with my husband and daughter in Portland, Oregon, and design sewing, embroidery, knitting, and crochet patterns. See more about me at