We moved into our house a few years back and before we knew we had the makings for a raspberry haven right in our own backyard, all the neighbors were clued in. They would frequently ask “are the raspberries were ready yet?” Surely, raspberry picking in our yard had become a summer tradition for many of the neighborhood’s littlest. We had even been the lucky recipients of books about raspberries! Little did I know what fun would await my daughter, Maggie, and me.
One early summer morning she came inside with a heaping bowl full of berries and as resourceful as she is, said, “Mom, I have a great idea… let’s make our own jam!” She suggested that we save up all the berries and make lots of jam so we could give it all away! What a great idea. So, we went to work.
One of the things that made this precious quality time with my 7-year-old daughter so wonderful is that it was a simple process that she could help with — all it takes is berries and sugar (some recipes call for certo as well) along with the right size canning jars. Before we knew it we had more than six jars ready to go (they recommend that you only make one batch at a time). Maggie had gathered so many berries that we had enough for two batches.
Now, not everyone has raspberry bushes in their backyard, but you don’t have to have the bush to make jam from fresh fruit – just be sure it’s fresh! We’re all busy running around like crazy people, but here are a few good reasons why I recommend this:
- It’s great quality time with your child
- Fresh fruit is unbelievably healthy
- You’re passing on a new appreciation for food to your kids
Now, if I could just get someone to help us eat the 12 jars of jam that we made, we’ll be in great shape!
- 4 lbs. fruit
- 5 1/2 lbs. sugar
- 1 packet of Certo/fruit pectin
1. Crush the berries and place in a pan with sugar.
2. Heat gently, stirring occasionally until the sugar is dissolved.
3. Bring quickly to a full rolling boil and boil rapidly for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
4. Remove from heat and stir in the Certo/fruit pectin. Skim if necessary.
5. Pour jam into prepared jam jars.