My sister JoAnn called to say she wanted to get together and make some jam. Neither of us had made jam before, so she read over the instructions, said something like, “it says it takes about ten minutes,” and so a jamming date was made. We set aside aside a couple of hours, fortunately, because that’s ten minute timing couldn’t have been more wrong.
I had the easy job of going to the farmer’s market to pick up some fresh berries. YUM!
JoAnn lugged pretty much everything else over to my house. This included: mason jars with new lids, a large pot for boiling the jars, the jar grabbing and filling tools, a fancy pot for cooking fruit, and pectin. Oh, I also bought sugar for the jam, so yeah… I got the fruit and sugar.
Oddly, the most time consuming step was boiling the mason jars to sterilize them, then boiling them again once they’re filled with jam. The jars have to boil for 10 minutes each time, which isn’t bad at all, but it’s a whole lotta water that has to get boiling.
We wanted nice, big fruit bits, so we used a potato masher to get the fruit to the consistency we wanted. The pectin that my sister brought came with the directions for making jam, so we followed along with those instructions. There are many ways to make jam, including pectin-free recipes that we’ll have to try another time. I already can’t wait to make jam again.
The strawberries from the market were delicious! We kept finding ourselves occasionally leaning over the bowl to get closer to the amazing smell of the fresh strawberries.
Once the fruit boiled for a couple of minutes, we spooned it into the jars, and the jars went back into boiling water for 10 minutes.
At this point the jamming was DONE! As the jars cooled, we would hear the “pop” sounds from the lids properly sealing, and give a little “yay!” for another successful jar.
There was a little bit of jam leftover and what did we do? We went out for ice cream! That’s how we roll.
Making jam was surprisingly easy. There aren’t many ingredients and it tastes amazing! I highly recommend grabbing some fresh fruit and giving homemade jam a try.
Next item on my to-do list: homemade pop tarts!