Saturday, June 18, 2011

Jammin' June

So, what to do with all the strawberries that we picked the day before was the big question. Do we make them into lots and lots of freezer jam, lots and lots of jam canned in the water bath canner, or some of each?  Since we had so many strawberries and would need lots and lots of containers we opted for making jam and canning it via the water bath canner.  I got all set up on the deck so the girls could play outside while I hulled the berries, when all of a sudden a little helper appeared.  "Can I help, mama?"  "Sure, sweet girl."  and we got to work.
Grace wanted to try using the strawberry huller.  I showed her how to use it and then let her try.  She did great!  While she was using the huller, another little one appeared.  "I help too, mama?" "Sure, sweet girl." 
After using the huller for a bit, Grace asked for a cutting board and knife like Emma had.  I gathered the needed supplies and then we all quickly fell into our roles, chatting and working and enjoying the beautiful late spring weather.
After we filled the large measuring cup four times, it was time to add the sugar.  It's amazing to think that the recipe we were using was considered "low sugar" but in comparision to the regular recipe it was!  Since we doubled the low sugar recipe only five cups of sugar was required instead of twelve!
Then it was time for me to take over.  The strawberries had to sit for thirty minutes before we cooked them and then canned them.  
The fabulous new stove made the whole process so much quicker! The power boil setting got the cans sterilized and ready to go quicker, and then even when I dropped the setting down during the canning process it came up to a boil again much quicker than the not-so-fabulous-stove before it ever did.  When all was said and done we made twelve jars of strawberry jam.  Really, it was thirteen but we did not process the thirteenth in the canner. Instead, we just put it in a pint jar and placed it in the fridge to be used right away. 
Come the winter months, this jam will be a lovely reminder of this beautiful season!

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