Strawberry Jam and a Repurposed Armoire

First of all, let me remind you that STRAWBERRIES ARE SO INEXPENSIVE (AT THE TIME OF THIS WRITING.)  There, I got it off my chest.  I’ve been hearing from friends who have been finding strawberries for as little as $1 for 16oz.  If you come across a deal like that, please take advantage of it. Oh, and tell me about it so I can get some, too. 🙂

I think that makes this the perfect time to learn how to preserve!  Here’s the recipe that I use for canning my own simple strawberry jam:

Ball Blue Book Strawberry Jam

2 quarts strawberries

1/4 cup lemon juice

7 cups sugar

1 packet powdered pectin

Wash and crush berries. Combine the berries, lemon juice, and pectin in a large sauce pot. Bring to a boil, remembering to stir occasionally. Add sugar and stir until it dissolves.  Return to a rolling boil.  Boil hard for one minute, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat.

Skim foam if any has formed.  Ladle hot jam into hot 8 oz. jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace.  Adjust two piece ring/lid, and then process in a boiling water canner for ten minutes.  Yields about 8 half pints.


If you have no idea what I’m talking about when I say boiling water canner, headspace, and the like, then these videos (and whole website, really) are for YOU.  They give you the details and instructions.  It’s really so much fun and very  satisfying  to can your own jams, jellies, and preserves! Don’t be intimidated.  


You can also make freezer preserves, and that information is on the website, as well.  I have never done this due to limited freezer space.

This is a photo of my wild plum jelly I made a year or so ago. So pretty!

Now, my adventure for this week so far has been repurposing an old beat up armoire I found at Tyler Consignment Warehouse on DC Drive in Tyler.   I went in one day and thought I’d look for a storage piece while I was there.  I don’t live in a large house, and storage space is limited.  I now have all these dishes and bowls and props for tv cooking and because of my own love of antique bowls (especially Fire King bowls!)  so I thought I might find somebody’s old shelf or cabinet that I could hide somewhere to stash some of this in or on.  

I gasped with amazement and joy when I saw this old beat up piece, and the price on it was so reasonable! 

Very old, heavy piece for $59!

Now, clearly, this is not a fancy antique, as it has served its families well over the years, it would appear, and some veneer is missing on the one side, and there are paint splotches, and lots of scratches, which is why it was only $59, right? Perfect!  Thank you, Roger and Kim!  🙂

I got my guys to pick it up in their enclosed trailer, and they brought it home for me to doctor on.  I had the best time!

I first had to decide what color to paint the old thing, and the first color I always consider is red.   I just love red…but this piece is six feet tall, so I decided that might be too much red.  I opted for black, with an cream interior.  (actually “Woodrow Wilson Putty” from the Historical Preservation Society’s collection with Valspar at Lowe’s. I love it.)  I chose a nice light interior color so that it would be easier to see inside and find what I needed. 

I sanded it inside and out,  wiped it down, and started priming the interior. 

Now, I was patient and let the primer dry overnight, so it would be cured and hard before I painted over it. That’s the hardest part for me; waiting. I want it all done at once. 

Yesterday I got right to work on the piece.  I painted the interior first, so it would have a nice long drying time while I worked on everything else.

Interior primed and painted out.

Next, I painted the exterior.  I didn’t bother priming it as it was dark and I was just going to use black.  It worked just fine.

I’m so happy with it! Here it is with all my bowls and dishes in it: 

So, there you have it; just because something’s old, got rough spots and jagged edges it doesn’t mean that it can’t be loved and useful.     (Hope my kids remember that when I’m old!)  😉

If you have some projects you’re working on, I’d love to hear about them and see your pictures!  

Have a great day, and go learn & do something new!   You’ll be so glad you did. 


6 thoughts on “Strawberry Jam and a Repurposed Armoire

    1. Thanks, Kim! I’m so happy that it worked out so perfectly for my space….and that you had it for me to buy! 🙂 I never fail to find something good at your place. Love it.

  1. So…now you are telling us you are a Chef, Wonderful Baker, Mommy and a Master Painter? Sheesh. Looks Great MamaSteph. I know you must just love seeing all of your bowls -n- things in a nice, new, old, safe place. Kuddos!

  2. Those boys will look at you one day, and say, oh, just put a little lipstick on her, she’ll be fine!

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