Friday, May 11, 2012

Making Strawberry Jam

Today I took the kids up to Strawberry Hill U.S.A.  We had already been once back in April, but I needed to purchase more of their delicious strawberries.  As we drove along the country road, we listened to our book on cd.

We purchased two gallons of freshly picked strawberries.  They were stacked high and smelled wonderful.  The children asked for strawberry slushes and I obliged.  I love them and we only get them once a year, so they are definitely a real treat.

We loaded back in the van with our purchases and continued to the grocery store, then home.

The children wanted to swim this afternoon, so I settled in on the deck to shell peas and slice the strawberries.

I ended up with about two cups of peas.

I sliced and diced the gallon of strawberries and then set about making the strawberry jam.  This is the first time I have tried to make jam.
One of the gallons of strawberries.

I added the sugar (12 cups!), mixed it with the strawberries and then began to bring the mixture to a boil.

This is after the boiling over incident.
Things were going well.  I had the canning jars and lids ready, and then the strawberry mixture decided to boil over.  Thank goodness Egee was around to help grab another pot!  I dished out half the mixture into another pot and quickly learned a lesson on how much could be contained into one pot.

Jars washed and ready for the water bath.

Lids simmering

I continued to process the jam.  Hoping that I indeed was doing it right.  The boiling water bath was simmering.

Water bath warming up
I dished the hot jam into the widemouthed pint jars and placed them into the water bath.  I brought the water bath to a boil and timed the jars for fifteen minutes.  Removed the jars and listened for the lovely ping of lids sealing. 

Eight pints of strawberry jam.
As I waited for the jars to be done, I cleaned up the mess on the stove.  Luckily, the stove was warm and the mess came up without a problem.  Kitchen is clean, pots put away and another gallon of strawberries await.

I think we will test the first batch tomorrow and then process the next.