There were a few questions asked in the comments, so I thought I'd answer them in a separate post.
*Not really a question, but Happymama said she'd love to do this with her daughter, and a girls' group at church. I have one word of caution for anyone making the jam: the fruit and sugar are boiled for one minute and then poured immediately into the glass jars. I've been burned by little drops of jam, and it's not pleasant! This would be potentially dangerous for very young girls to take part in. However, I'm sure they could help prepare the fruit, and measure out the ingredients, and then have fun watching the rest of the procedure!
*would splenda work as well?
I've never used Splenda, but there are recipes for jam made with Splenda. Annecourager left this recipe:
Strawberry Jam with Splenda:
6 c. sliced/mashed ripe strawberries
3 c. Splenda
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1/4 c. boiling water
1 pkg. (.75 oz) low-sugar pectin
Method (different from "the box"):
Mash strawberries with a potato masher. Add Splenda and lemon juice; combine. Bring to a boil, stirring often. Lower heat and simmer for 15 min.
Combine boiling water and pectin, blending with wire whisk. Stir into strawberry mixture. Bring mix to boil again, and boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
Carefully ladle into sterilized pint jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace.
Seal (by inverting, or by boiling water bath).
Recipe from Cooking Healthy With Splenda by JoAnna M. Lund
*Do you use fresh lemon juice or do you get your juice from the bottle?
I usually buy bottled lemon juice, but fresh works too.
*When you say the lids are in hot water, do you mean water that has been brought to a boil?
I just used hot tap water. Some people simmer their lids on the stove to prepare the rubber. I've not found that necessary though.
*Have you done frozen preserves?
No, I never have. My main reason for making jam is for gifts. Frozen preserves just wouldn't travel well. =)
*Great minds think alike, I just blogged about making strawberry jam.
This was too funny--we both made and blogged about making strawberry jam! Check out Be Not Conformed for pictures and instructions from Mrs. R on making freezer jam!
*I like that drainer! It clips over the divider?
I really enjoy using my over the sink strainer! Rubbermaid makes them, and they retail for approximately $6-7 in stores like Meijer or Wal-Mart. It fits right over the middle sink divider, and is so handy for draining noodles, and preparing fruits/veggies. They come red, white, and green.
Something I was going to mention last night~it's terribly tempting to touch the lids to see if they have sealed. Don't touch the jars for several hours! (Yes, I have succumbed to the temptation before!)
Wow, my first question and answer post, that was fun! *Grin*