Wednesday, April 24, 2013

We Be Jammin'

Because we still had half a flat of strawberries after making strawberry shortcake on Sunday, I decided that I needed to figure out a way to quickly use up the rest of the strawberries before they started going bad. I am a HUGE fan of strawberry jam, so I thought it would be a fun way to use up the strawberries and teach M a new skill as well. I had made jam once before when we went for a week-long visit to Utah last summer to see The Purple Lady and her family. Only then, it was apricot jam, and we had tried a recipe that didn't use pectin. My husband wasn't a fan of how the jam turned out (the flavor was great, but he said he wants jam, not syrup. haha. Picky, picky), so I looked up some directions online and decided to give it a whirl on my own with M.

I thought it would be fun to incorporate the jam making with a family home evening lesson, so we talked about the importance of food storage, and then discussed how learning to preserve our own food would be beneficial for our family as we strive to become more prepared in the event of an emergency situation. By the way, for excellent tips on food storage and emergency preparedness, check out The Nutnfancy Project on YouTube.

Anyway, I already had a large stock put that I knew we could use to seal the jars once the jam was made, but there were still a few utensils that I needed to make the jamming project happen, so I ran out yesterday afternoon to Walmart and got the rest of the things I would need: A jar lifter, jars (I used Kerr pint-sized jars, but the recipe I found calls for 8 oz. ones), a wide-mouth funnel, a ladle (as we somehow didn't have one), and pectin. I pretty much already had everything else we'd need.

So, Z had to run and finish writing a paper after the food storage discussion, so M and I were on our own with the jam. She helped me wash and cap the strawberries, then we mashed them and transferred them into a pot to mix the pectin in, and begin the boiling process. We soon decided that we had enough strawberries for two batches, so she started on the second batch of strawberries while I finished the first.

After a few minutes, she stopped for a second, then turned to me and said, "You know, Mom, family home evening was really fun tonight." My heart soared. She usually has such a nonchalant attitude about FHE, and it's truly a struggle to get her to genuinely engage, so it was so heart-warming to see her enjoying herself and learning something from the experience.

Anyway, the jam turned out amazing, but with the half flat that we had to work with, we were only able to fill about 4 1/2 of the pint-sized jars.

The 5th jar was only half full,
so we stuck it in the fridge for immediate use.

I think next year, I will order more strawberries so we will have plenty for jam and more yummy strawberry treats. Now that I have the hang of the whole jamming thing, I am gonna have to try some other types of fruits as well. Oh...I need to think of some tasty fruit combinations now. All this talk of jam and fruit makes me wish that we had fruit trees or something. ;)

For a copy of the recipe that I used, check out

Also, for more fun recipes and meal ideas, follow me on Pinterest. :)

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