Making Jams.

Over the summer, I wanted my kids to experience a small taste of fun HomeEc type activities. When you add that to my recent preoccupation with fresh fruits and veggies, you get … well, a mess. Haha. However, with four kids aged 5 years old and younger, there will always be a mess. So, I decided we should make homemade jams. After a trip to our local orchard, we decided to start with blackberry jam. Just the thought of it made my mouth water.

See? 1 Quart of beautiful Blackberries. IMG_7652

Before we got started, I needed supplies. 🙂 We headed off to Wal-Mart and purchased canning supplies.

IMG_7616Then, I spent some time on the internet trying to figure out how to “prepare” the jars. WHY DOESN’T SPEAK PLAIN ENGLISH IN THESE TYPE OF INSTRUCTIONS??

IMG_7628 IMG_7622I finally figured out the plan.

Wash the jars, lids, and rings with warm, soapy water.

IMG_7636Once the jars, et al are washed, place the lids into a pot of water. Let come to a boil and then turn down to a simmer.

IMG_7642Place jars in a large pot (I used my Presto Canner) and fill with water to at least an inch above the top of the jars. Then, allow the water to come to a boil.

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After the blackberries have been washed, crush them.

This is DD helping me crush the blackberries. Please note that she is wearing her pink sunglasses. This is a necessity, of course.

I forgot a step. We had all the Crazies taste a blackberry. Since this was a homeschool lesson, this was very important.

IMG_7685 IMG_7690

They loved them. SCORE! Ok, back to making jam. I allowed each Crazy to help crush the blackberries. While DS #2 was crushing, he was a tad zealous.

IMG_7726Minor cleanup on Aisle 4, please! His crushed blackberries went everywhere but at least he is passionate! 🙂 Once the blackberries were crushed, we measured our 5 cups of sugar

IMG_7658and our 4.5 TBS of pectin.

We put our blackberries in a large pot and then added the pectin.

IMG_7744Once the pectin was in the blackberries, we stirred it and let it come to a rolling boil.

IMG_7746We also added 1/2 tsp of margarine to cut down on froth when the blackberries cooked.

IMG_7747Once the blackberries came to a rolling bowl, it was sugar time. We added the 5 cups of sugar.

IMG_7755After the sugar was added to the blackberries, we allowed the mixture to come back to a rolling boil and boil for 1 minute.

IMG_7765As soon as the blackberry sugar mixture has boiled 1 minute, we immediately took it off of the burner. JAR TIME! Before I go any further, please remember this: HOT FOODS IN HOT JARS AND COLD FOODS IN COLD JARS. This will help you avoid shattering and glass everywhere.

Using tongs, take one jar at a time out of the boiling water and place on a rack.

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We used our funnel and slowly learned how to not make a mess when putting the very hot jam in the jars.

IMG_7773Once the jar is full, we used the neat little magnetic stick to pick up the lid and place it on the jar.

IMG_7778

IMG_7779We screwed the lids on to only finger tightness.

IMG_7780As soon as the lid was on, the jars went back into the simmering water of the Canner.

IMG_7785The jars were allowed to come to a rolling boil and boil for 10 minutes. Once they had boiled for 10 minutes, we turned the burner off and they sat in the Canner for another 5 minutes. The jars came out of the Canner and cooled on a rack for 12 hours.

IMG_7795Then, well… we ate it.

IMG_7801This homeschool lesson was definitely a SWEET success! 😉

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