So I embarked on my first jam journey today. During my journey,
- 2 cookbooks and the internet where used
- 3 quarts of strawberries, crushed
- 1 lemon, juiced
- almost a half bag of sugar, dissolved
- 1 thumb, burned
- 5 half pints, canned
- 2 peanut butter and jam sandwiches, consumed
After I washed and hulled the strawberries, I figured my son would like to help crush them. So I got he set up at the table with his apron and he crushed away. After he crushed two cups worth he declared himself done and ready to eat some berries. Well, there went my help.
I soldiered on and ended up with 7 cups of crush berries. I emptied those into my pot and went to consult my cookbooks. Each one had a different answer to how much sugar to add. I moved on to consult the internet and finally decide on 5 cups of sugar. Once that crisis was averted, the jam started boiling.
As the jam cooked, I got all the canning supplies ready to go and read all the directions. I had no idea this was going to take so long!
Finally after what seemed liked eternity, the jam was 220 degrees. I did the spoon test and of course the taste test. We all agreed it was better the store-bought jam and it smelled heavenly!
Now for the tricky part. I ladled the hot jam in the hot jars by myself. I probably should have had help, but oh well. I managed and got 5 jars filled and ready for canning. I was nervous about the actually canning process and obsessively took the water temperature until I was sure it was 180 degrees. Jars in and 10 minutes later, I was done.
When the jam cooled enough, I opened a jar and made pb & jam sandwiches for me and my little helper. The verdict: Yum-yum!
Update: After 12 hours all the jars are officially sealed!