Sunday, June 01, 2008

"We made the best jam in the world!!!"

On Friday afternoon, my mother-in-law, Mikaela, Toby and I undertook our yearly sticky, sweet tradition of making homemade jam. (My kitchen floor still hasn't quite recovered...) Toby declared that night when he tasted it smeared on some bread, "We made the best jam in the world!" (And I have my mother-in-law to thank for teaching me how to do it and for doing it with me. I never get around to doing it on my own. And it' wouldn't be nearly as much fun!)

It's still strawberry season in Fresno, and I'm sorry if you don't live here or somewhere you can get real fresh strawberries because they truly are so amazing! So, of course, after eating lots of them... we turn them into jam! (And here I am washing/de-topping them. Exciting, huh?) This last year I ran out of jam and had to (gulp!) buy some Smuckers. It couldn't be that different, right? WRONG! Now I understand why people rave about this stuff when we give it to them. It truly is so much better!

This year I decided we should try making cherry jam, too, because we had a bunch of cherries from our cherry tree, but I was sort of disappointed with how it turned out. (The Cherry-Strawberry, however, was quite yummy!) And Mikaela holding a bowl of cherries (that just begs for a pun of some sort!) was a photo-op we couldn't pass up!

Toby found these jar grabbers and had lots of fun holding jars (Agh! Over the tile!) with them.

I don't have any pictures of the cooking/boiling/"don't touch that it's hot!" part of the process because I told Lowell he really needed to NOT be in the kitchen at that moment. You'll just have to imagine what it's like to be stirring a pot of boiling, fruit lava next to another pot of boiling jars... with 2 eager children really wanting to help or at least see what's going on! It is truly an experience that stretches the best of both mothers and Buelas!

But in the end, (after pizza because we DO NOT cook dinner after making jam and thankfully our husbands don't argue with that!) we are rewarded with jam that is delicious, can be eaten or given away and memories that last longer than the jam will. It's so worth the pounds of sugar and boxes of pectin and moments of insanity and the sticky spots on the floor. And I couldn't help but imagine what it's going to be like next year with a toddler running around again! But we've done it before with little ones, so we'll just do it again. But next time, at Buela's house!!!


  1. Ah jam - I can't remember, do you know if Grandma Claassen ever made jam? I can't seem to recall.

    Anyway, just wanted to say hey and that you're in our prayers! :-) It's always great to know how you guys are doing!

    - Angi (Regier), Trav, Jack and Zoey

  2. Sweet! (No pun intended!) Great memories:-)

  3. How fun. Reminds me that I need to cook more with the boys. They love and so do I, but life just so busy sometimes. Thanks for the reminder. You could slip some of that jam my way... I have never made jam, and will probably never learn at this point.

    I did learn to crochet from my mother in law. And have made some lovely baby gifts over the years, from that gift of time to teach.

    Sheri T.


Thanks for sharing your thoughts and heart with me.