preferred outing of the season
what's inside the pages

from berries to jam

strawberry jam


canning for a new generation

a big pot

cleaning the bowl

strawberry rosemary jam

why bother eating the bread

Homemade jam - so good that you don't even bother eating the bread.

This year, I was very much looking forward to making strawberry jam with Finn. Last year, he was just starting to take his first steps, and it was really only Mama and Daddy who did the picking and jam-making. (I do recall that Finn did some eating, though. He's always been one for that.) This year, berries and jam have been central to his life this late Spring. From picking (and tasting) to stirring and measuring (and tasting) to bringing jars of jam to gift to friends (and tasting), berries are what he talks about, reads about, and (obviously) eats.

Our preferred recipe this year comes from Canning for a New Generation. (I have ambitions of making every recipe in this book once we have our own garden. Oh, the dreams this book has inspired. I'll be honest, too - part of me just wants to have a pantry that bursts with color like the jars on the front cover of the book.) We used the Strawberry Lavender recipe but substituted ground rosemary in place of the elusive lavender. The resulting jam is a very sophisticated "sweet," and it makes our pbj lunches feel so much more gourmet. Try substituting cream cheese for the peanut butter. Your taste buds will sigh with delight.

A few things that I've found helpful for jam-making with a toddler:

:: the Learning Tower. Worth it's weight in gold.

::my big Cinsa enamelware pot from Mexico. I'm sure you could find it at any local Latino market. It's super cheap and contains all of the splashes and hot strawberry splatters.

:: favorite books about berry picking and jam - Blueberries for Sal and Jamberry .