Thursday, June 16, 2011

Jam

Have you ever made your own jam or jelly. We heart it. Fairly easy, plenty fun and the kids can help. A few weeks ago we made some. I am just now getting around to showing it off, so here goes.

1. Pick lots of tasty fruit.


2. Wash fruit and slice it into pieces. You want all the pieces to be about the same size, however they really don't need to be exact. Big Girl helped take the "hats" off the strawberries and slice them in half with a knife.

3. In a large sauce pan, combine 2 pints strawberries, 1/2 cup water



4. Simmer covered on low/medium heat until fruit is soft. Then add 2 1/2 cups sugar and 1 tbsp lemon juice.



5. Stir, stir, stir. until it the jelly point is reached. As soon as it starts to thicken up (think rubber cement thickness) remove from the heat. If any impurities have floated to the top - i.e. strawberry "hats" skim them off with a spoon.

6. Wait 10 to 15 minutes and pour into sterilized jars allow to cool and refrigerate.

If sterilizing is scary or you don't think you have the right jars, consider an empty peanut butter jar or the little Gerber baby food rectangle things. Both can be sterilized by going in a big bowl of water that has been boiled in the microwave.


Words of wisdom on this one... Don't use a pickle jar. Even if its been cleaned you will still catch a whiff of pickles when you open and close it.

More tips:
- If your jam is too thick after being refrigerated, allow it to sit on the counter and warm up.
- If you make small containers of jam, they can sit on the shelf in the pantry for a few weeks and be just fine.
- Before putting the jam in the jars, let your kids decorate them with permanent markers and stickers.
- Grandparents and Great-Grandparents love jam.
- Jam and Ritz crackers makes a fun snack. Using plastic containers you can hand one container to each kid and let them practice spreading. Time consuming and tasty task = Mom can scrapbook shop on-online for a furniture drink her fav beverage and watch TV out of the corner of her eye without interruption clean the kitchen .

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