Since I am the one whose creative efforts produced these wonderful jams, I am allowed to be a guest contributor. I feel honored because my husband is usually really picky about his projects and this blog is one of his "babies". Since he wants me to keep making treats for him, I guess he really doesn't have a choice in letting me be a contributor. I love ya' honey!
For years I have been meaning to make homemade jam. I always talked myself out of it because the task seemed so daunting. This year we have more raspberries than we know what to do with. That is even after giving a ton away and letting the birds have their fill. So with a quick Google search and a little encouragement from Rob I gave it a try. I was amazed at how easy jam is to make! Once you have the equipment you need, jam making is a breeze!
Besides berries, pectin and sugar you do need some special equipment. I found everything I needed at Walmart and it was cheaper than anyplace else I searched. A canner is essential. A canner is basically an extra large stockpot with a lid and handled basket and to hold your jars. You also need a jar grabber (self-explanatory), wide-mouth funnel, magnetic lid grabber, and jars, and lids. The grabber, funnel, and lid grabber come as a kit at Walmart. I bought everything I needed for $33.83!
I won't go into specific details about how to make the jam, there is an easy recipe in each and every box of pectin (gelling agent). What I will say is follow them exactly and you will have perfect results. I'd also like to comment on how satisfying it is to take berries grown in your own yard and turn them into little jars of jeweled sunshine! Seeing the delight on my family's faces as they spread the jam on fresh baked fluffy biscuits sends my heart soaring. Hearing their "yummy noises" makes me proud to be carrying on the traditions of my mother and Rob's grandmother. Knowing that I am giving my children treasures that aren't materialistic solidifies my belief that it's the simple things that make this journey we call life richer and more wonderful!