I love to make jam. The first time I made it, I was really intimidated - it seems like such a complicated thing. What I didn't know is that most jam is actually really, really easy and doesn't even take that long. The hardest part is just getting the fruit ready to cook.
I grew up eating lots of homemade jam - both my grandmas made jam, and it wasn't unusual for one of my dad's patients to bring him homemade jam as a thank you. I also loved when my mom made jam. We'd go pick blueberries or strawberries, then she'd make jam. I remember just loving her blueberry jam on toast. For my mother's day yesterday, I took a nap, and made jam. It was just about the perfect day.
One great thing about jam is how beautiful it is in jars. I think it looks like jewels. It makes a great gift, if you make enough to want to part with some.
(peach jam from last summer)
In case anyone else would like to make some, I thought I'd post my recipe here, which is the one from the instructions that come in the pectin box:
4 c. of sliced, smashed strawberries. (I cut them into chunks, then use the potato masher to squish them up even more)
1 3/4 c. sugar
1 box low sugar pectin
my secret ingredient: 2 tsp. vanilla
Put the strawberries in a large pot with the vanilla (use one that is much bigger than you think you need as the jam kind of bubbles up a bit). Mix in the pectin and stir well. Heat over medium high heat until it reaches a full rolling boil (this means that it doesn't stop boiling when you stir it). Then add the sugar, and stirring constantly, return to boil and boil for 3 minutes.
Remove from heat and put into clean jars. Yield: 3 pints
You can then process the jars to seal them. To process jars, bring another large pot of water to boil, then put the jars in and boil for 10 - 15 minutes.
And just because I can:
I have a very smiley boy....