One-Yard Wonders projects

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Cherry Pickin' and Jam Makin' Time!

Tonight I did something that I have wanted to do for the last five years -- I made jam!! And I had three helpers, and it got a little hectic at times, but no one was hurt in the making of the jam and the kitchen is already cleaned up!

Let me take you on a photo essay of our afternoon:

2 p.m. Arrive at my sister's house to pick cherries and blueberries. It was pretty hot and sunny, but I had the boys with me and they were very willing helpers. Here's "the flying squirrel" (as my mother calls Bo) up in the tree picking cherries. 

He was up there for about a half hour and filled his bucket!

Poor Mazy was in the hottest part of the yard -- no shade at all. We found a little umbrella in my sister's garage but he had trouble holding it and picking at the same time. 

3 p.m. Mazy filled his bucket as well, and then we were sweating like crazy and ready to cool off. 

4 p.m. Arrived back in Nevada, picked up Violet (who was NOT happy, not happy at all, that we had picked her beloved blueberries without her.) We ended up with quite a bit of fruit. We refrigerated the blueberries, but I spent an hour pitting the cherries. We had just over eight cups of them. 

6 p.m. After looking up a few recipes and deciding that I could make jam, we got to work. We put all the cherries into a pot and added sugar and freshly squeezed lemon juice. And then Bo carefully helped me stir it for about 40 minutes until it hit 220 degrees. 

Violet took this picture.... Actually she took about 45 pictures that look exactly like this -- her finger on the left, Bo's butt on the right. 

7:30 p.m. Success! It was a lot of work for three small jars of jam, but who cares, don't they look great! The kids were so excited. They want to make jam and sell it at the Nevada farmers market. I love that idea! We started brainstorming names for our stand. Let's see, Mazy suggested "Keesia's Kitchen -- Jams, Pies and More." Bo said: "Mom's Best Jam Since the Stone Age." And Violet's was "Mommy's Best Pie Kitchen." She also suggested one with "naked" in it and thought it was the most hilarious name ever. That girl....

So that was Wednesday afternoon and evening at our house. It was pretty awesome. Shawn was in Des Moines for his board game night and missed all the fun. But, he is the one who bought me a canning kit for a Christmas gift many years ago, along with the awesome pieces of cloth to decorate the lids with! Thanks, Shawn! I love living in a small town -- we are already embracing a slower, less complicated way of life. We didn't have the TV on that entire time. The kids were all out in the kitchen with me. We had fun. We made supper together. We ate at the table together. It was really great. Life is good. 

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