Yep, I've been busy busy in the kitchen and being out and about in the sun. Last week I took my son strawberry picking. He had a great time. He ate probably as many as we picked to bring home - so we certainly got our money's worth out of those strawberries. I picked a flat worth and came home with them for $4.60. Can't beat that. I was going to work with my friend the next day to make jam (my first time) but she had unfortunate news at a routine doctor's appointment that resulted in surgery and bed rest for the remainder of her pregnancy. She's doing well, but making jam with me was certainly out of the question, understandably!
So I headed to the store and purchased all the canning materials that I would need and during my son's nap I got started on the cleaning and getting the strawberries ready to get cookin'.
I manged to get get all the strawberries cleaned and ready to cook right as my son woke from his nap, so at least I didn't have a helper eating every other berry, so that's good. I was hoping though to not have to ignore him while I stirred constantly the jam mixture... but he was a good guy and entertained himself while I did my best to attempt my first jam session (hehe.)
I timed the jars being hot and done in the dishwasher perfectly to the jam being complete on the stove and I was pretty encouraged by that - our dishwasher takes eons to complete the cycle and even longer for the heat dryer to finish. After I funneled in the jam, I stuck them in the canner. Success!
All of the lids sealed and happily were setting on the counter, but by the end of the evening I was a bit discouraged because it seemed I had more syrup than jam. Hooey! I was worried I was going to have to dump and repeat with a bit more pectin... but all they needed was the full 24 hours and they are happy jars of jam now hiding in the closet under our stairs.