We ran out of homemade strawberry jam a few weeks ago, which is high treason at this house. Trouble was: I didn't want to make anymore. I wanted to eat it, of course, but had no desire to do the work. (What's that story about the chicken and the bread?) Fortunately for me, slave labor is cheap, and my little minions were thrilled to spend a Friday night making jam. I loosely supervised and worked on a wedding album for a friend.
Tyler was especially fond of using the blender to make the berry puree.
There was lots of mixing to do. Zach and Tyler were shocked at the sugar:berry ratio.
Both boys boiled pectin on the stove, but I didn't get pictures. Then more stirring.
And then came the satisfying step of pouring the jam into containers.
The boys both worked hard and had fantastic attitudes. I think they actually enjoyed themselves! They also learned about boiling and head space and measuring and dissolving. Tyler was tired and went to bed after a while, but Zach stuck it out to the end. I was proud of him! He was a very efficient worker, too...just like his mama. I paid the kids 50 cents a batch to make the jam. Zach was thrilled to receive $4.00 for jam and another dollar for doing the dishes. Tyler earned $2.00. Together they made over three dozen pints. We're set for a long time.
I feel like kind of like Tom Sawyer. He was a genius.