These guys have been making jam for quite a while- I can't remember how many years they said, but they are serious jammers. We had an impressive amount of berries and I was definitely a little intimidated at first, so I took a lot of pictures before I joined in on the process.
To start, we had Collin and Brett (my two cousins) on the Quality Control Crew. They were in charge of cleaning the berries and pulling out any bugs. I heard some pretty funny conversations between them....
Collin- The green ones are easy to pick out, but it's hard to see the white ones.
Brett- Well, if no one can see them, then just leave 'em in.
After washing the berries, we mashed them up and let them to sit for a while, so that any remaining bugs would float to the top.
Then 6 cups of berries mush was scooped out and passed to Christina to cook.
Meanwhile, Michael had the important task of scooping 7 cups of sugar into a bunch of bowls to make it easy to add to the berries at the right time. I loved it- 6 cups of berries to 7 cups of sugar- what a ratio!
Christina added in the pectin and brought the mix to a boil. She stirred the whole time to break up any chunks of the pectin.
Then the sugar went in and was boiled for a bit longer until the jam really puffed up.
Christina then took the boiling jam and poured it (carefully!) into Aunty Gayle's measuring cup.
She had already set out 9-10 jars with lids (these had all been through the dishwasher the night before to be disinfected.)
From there we poured the jam into jars with about 1/8 in of room at the top.
We'd screw on the lids and flip them over and let them sit for 5 minutes. This allowed the boiling jam to touch the lid and top of the jar to sterilize it.
Then the jars were flipped back over and the lids were tightened again. We did this many, many times and ended up with an impressive amount of jam.
I got to take home 24 jars!
We're supposed to make blackberry jam soon too. I can't wait!