Thursday, July 2, 2009

Puttin' Up Jam

I have had my heart set on making jam for some time now. To me, that has been the ultimate domestic test: to jam or not to jam. Ha! So when I saw the seasonal summer berries dropping in price, I knew this was my time.

Matthew and I set out for the Dallas Farmer's Market on a warm, June afternoon. That was an experience in itself! If you've ever been to the Farmer's Market, you know what I'm talking about. Walking down the busy sidewalks where the farmers and distributors sell their goods, you are bombarded from every side with, "would you like to try this melon?" or "this is the best peach you'll ever taste" as they hand you a fat slice, practically feeding it into your mouth. You have to be sure you know what you're going for, or you could really end up with much more than you want or need. I had my mind focused on getting some good strawberries for the jam, some blueberries for freezing for smoothies and muffins, and some peaches just for eatin'. An hour and a half later we were on our way home, happy with the deals and the quality of the fruit we had found. And of course, there was a little bit of snacking along the way! :)

A few days later I enlisted the help of my sweet Mom to help make the jam! Thanks, Mom! I had all the materials I needed: glass jars, lids, sugar, fruit, and fruit pectin. We went at it for about 3 or more hours slicing, stirring, boiling and pouring and had the best time! It's nice when you have someone to do it with you! It was fun to just talk and enjoy each others company while we hurried along to the next step or listened for the jar lids to "pop" announcing that they were perfectly sealed. It wasn't as sticky of a mess as I had thought either. In fact, all said and done, my kitchen was pretty clean! Below are some pics to show the fruits of our labors (no pun intended *wink*).