Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Making Raspberry Jam With My Little Man

My younger boys are spending the week at their grandparents and I'm enjoying time with my firstborn, Zane. Today we went raspberry picking together, just the two of us, and it was so much fun. We absolutely love raspberries but it's not so easy to take all of my boys picking, especially since my 3 year old will touch EVERYTHING and run off the instant my attention wanders. 

I found Grace Farm Studio at PickYourOwn.com last year when we visited for the first time. They have the amazing price of $2 per pint for their organic raspberries on Tuesdays while it's $4 per pint the rest of the week. Needless to say we'll be coming back again...on another Tuesday this summer.

Zane and I decided our goals were to get going by 8am (to beat the heat) and pick 4-5 pints. It was nice to be out in nature doing something with my big kid that we both enjoy. We did so well picking that we ended up with 7 pints! Zane did his fair share and picked 3 himself while I did the other 4. We also managed to eat a lot as we picked and that's part of the fun. We agreed that we would make raspberry jam and raspberry ice cream so that's what we did as soon as we got home.

I used this tutorial as my guide to making raspberry jam. I've done strawberry before, many years ago, but this was my first time making raspberry jam. First we washed 3 pints of raspberries and then smashed them up. Zane helped with this part though he managed to smack the berries more than smash them.
I wanted to make a low sugar batch so I used white grape juice as my sweetener. I added the no sugar pectin and brought the mix to a hard boil. Then I added the remaining juice and brought the mix back to a hard boil for a minute while stirring the whole time. I removed the mix from heat and skimmed off the foam. Finally it was time to pour it into my jars and seal them up. I processed the jars in boiling water for about 8 minutes and then took them out to cool.

We ended up with 8 jars of very tart raspberry jam. I love the taste of it but Zane didn't find it sweet enough for him.
I'm thrilled to have yummy jam that will (hopefully) last a while but even more than that I love making memories with Zane. These summer days when parenthood are both fun and productive are my favorites. It's a nice change from the messyness I usually deal with as a parent.

Ok Summer, bring it on!

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