24 April 2009

It's a Jam Session

It all started down on the farm in Arkansas, well, technically Pocola, Oklahoma (we're so close, you know)...

We went berry picking yesterday~strawberries!! And, oh my, were they beautiful!!
I mean, look at that!! Nature's very own valentine! It's just perfect:)
The berries were so gorgeous and yummy, we got a little carried away. We picked waaaaay more than we needed for that simple strawberry shortcake we were going to make.
So I decided that my mom should teach me how to make jam...heehee! I really was surprised at how simple the process actually is, it just takes a little time. And really that wasn't too bad either: it took us about 2 hours to make 3 batches (according to the Sure Jell box recipe).

1. First I hulled the strawberries.
2. Then we washed them~2x~they had a lot of dirt from the fields
3. Next, we sliced them up and squished them really good with a potato masher~just until they started getting juicy.
4. We put 5 cups of smashed berries into the stockpot with 1/4 cup lemon juice and 1 box of Sure Jell Pectin. Stir continually until this mixture comes to a boil.

5. Then add 7 cups of sugar (I know, I was shocked, too!!!). I'll never look at jam the same!
6. Stir this until it comes to a rolling boil again, and keep at a full boil for 1 minute. Skim any foam off of the top.
7. Now you're ready to fill your jars (which have been in a pot of low boiling water all this time, of course). 8. Fill each jar to the top (a jar filler-thingy really helps!); be sure to wipe any sticky off of the rim of the jar before putting on the lid and cap. Screw the cap on tightly and set aside to let it seal. I love hearing those little *pops*!
9. Enjoy your beautiful jars of jam!!!
We rounded up every jar my mom had (plus a box I picked up at the store) and we still ran out of jars! Our total came to 28+ the extra:)
I had so much fun~although I'm sure I wore my mom out! But now I know how to make strawberry jam~yea!! I'm looking forward to more berry picking this year.


Kayren, Pink Daisy Girl said...

I didn't miss spring until I saw that. We're still pretty much gray here, and there are just now a few buds popping a SMIDGE on the trees.

Send me some, will ya?

Betsy said...

I love your new name for the funnel! :)

We don't pick strawberries until June here! In fact, I just planted 75 roots in my patch yesterday.

Your farm there is just beautiful and so was the fruit! Those jams would make wonderful gifts...see, you have Christmas all done! :)

Lora said...

A funnel!! I couldn't think of that for anything last night when I was writing this post-ha!:)

Lisa said...

Jam-making is really fun! I just learned how last summer...with blackberries. Dad and I made so much it has lasted me all winter. Isn't it nice to know how to make things yourself? I bet the jam tastes great :)

Raggedy Girl said...

What a wonderful family outing and the jam looks lovely.

Have a Wonderful Weekend
from The Raggedy Girl--Roberta Anne

Jamie said...

I must say I'm a bit jealous...that berry picking looked so fun, and all that jam looks delicious! I think I'd like to give it a try.

Angela said...

Now THIS looks like fun. I have never tried canning, but love the idea. and your jam looks awesome! Strawberry is my favorite, but yes, lots of sugar. I actually try to eat mostly preserves these days, to keep the sugar content as low as possible. But this looks like so much fun!