Thursday, July 22, 2010

Summer's Sweetest Task- Making Jam

One of my most favorite summer treats...making jam. I had so many berries in the freezer from last year that I decided I could not buy anymore until I used up my reserve.  Ha... I didn't realize how many berries were there.  I am going to tell you how I make jam.  I learned how from my mother and her mother.
Get up real early on a Saturday morning and rummage around in the closet for your oldest overalls.(at least that is what I do).  Preferably the ones with the squeaky rivets.(keeps you awake)  That being said start gathering up your canning supplies.  For me in Grandma's cellar, yes we do have a cellar and we do use it.  We are fortunate enough to live on our Great Grandparents farmstead.  The cellar has been in use by our family for over 100 years now. I keep all of my jars, lids, seals everything there including the finished products.
I wash the jars first with a cap full of Purex in the washing water, just to be sure. As you can see from the picture they don't have to match.
Then get all of the ingredients close by...  I use different kinds of Pectin every year.  I prefer Certo however it gets more expensive sometimes, so I branch out.  This year we used Kerr brand and MCP they both worked just fine. We went through almost 50 lbs of sugar.  And made 58 jars of jam some were quarts too. 

Debbie went to Yakima to camp and visit with her grandchildren,  she was kind enough to bring back a box of beautiful apricots.  Yum.  My absolute favorite jam in the world.  It is like sunshine in a jar in the wintertime.

How many times have I said I love Apricot's?  I do, I do, I do!!!!

Oh yes!!! This is my friend.  It makes short work when apricots need to be chopped.  If you don't have one of your own run next door and borrow the neighbors.

See what I am talking about.  Perfect.

This particular jam recipe was the MCP brand pectin one.  It had us add everything but the sugar bring it to a boil and quickly stir in the sugar.  Little different.  Worked though.

I keep the jars hot in the oven on the lowest heat setting.

The seals go in hot water to soften the rubber ring around the edge.  This is per all of the grandmothers I have known that make jam.

Ok so it is the sun in a jam pan.  Go figure.  Absolutely beautiful.

This is my oldest jam funnel and I am pretty sure the jam would not be the same with out it.
The jars are hot, the seals are hot so you need to work fast.  Pour the hot jam from a pitcher into the jars filling to a 1/4 inch from the top.  Place the seal on the clean edge of jar and put the ring on as tight as you can.

Turn the jar upside down on a clean towel and cover with a towel to keep the heat in.  After about an hour turn the jars right side up (it helps the vacuum seal part). Keep the jars covered over night for a good seal.  The instructions suggest a water bath to guarantee sealing, I have never felt it necessary.  It is up to you.

These are the frozen berries for the mixed berry jam, I just took all of the berries from the freezer mixed them together and made them into jam.  (one of our favorites around here)  Did I tell you there are those people that just eat the jam right out of the jar with a spoon.  Is that like drinking milk out of the jug?  Just askin'

This is the mashed raspberry.  We made Apricot, Raspberry, and Mixed Berry (Raspberry, Marion berry, Blue berries and Black berries).  I just want to say I had the best helpers ever.  Dar, Sharon, Jody and me.
We made a great team.  Many hands make the work light.

Aren't those beautiful, I just love this.

And when we are finished with our project  I took the jam out in the yard for pictures.

This one was taken on the step of the outhouse built by my Great Grandfather in the 1890's, we use it now for a tool shed for the garden. 
I hope you enjoyed your little trip down jam making lane.



  1. I absolutely love the pictures! They are so happy! It ispires me to make some jam! Not sure of my favorite though! The apricot maybe...

  2. Yummy! I loved all the pictures and your comments. Fun!

  3. Mary, the "sun in a jam pan" is an outstanding picture, I love it!! And . . fresh raw apricots are MY favorite too! While Lillian was here, she would run out to our tree every morning to see if any windfalls were to be had. Yup, we have an apricot tree, not many this year, but enough to eat! <3