Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The Jam Experience

I've been wanting to make strawberry jam for a couple of years now but I never was ambitious enough to try it. Partially because my Grandma Murdock makes AMAZING strawberry jam and I didn't think I'd be able to make it taste like she does...and I proved myself right! I followed the steps just right, measuring everything exactly, stirring it at all the right times and things were going well until it came time to stir in the sugar. I gradually stirred in the sugar into the fruit mixture just as the recipe stated. And I stirred and stirred and stirred and stirred.... something just wasn't right. I knew jam had quite a bit of sugar in it but this was ridiculous for the amount of fruit I was mixing with it.Well I continued to stir the stuff until my arm could no longer move and it wasn't making any difference. I had been reading and rereading the recipe over and over trying to figure out what went wrong and I had finally come to the conclusion that I just didn't have the "love" Grandma Murdock has to make the perfect strawberry jam:( Then I looked at the recipe one more time and suddenly realized I had been following the recipe for Strawberry-Rasberry jam instead of just Strawberry jam... and because of this I had only put in HALF the amount of strawberries that I needed to! So I quickly called my mom for advice hoping that not all was lost and we decided the only thing I could do was add the rest of the strawberries that needed to be in there. So after a frantic trip to Walmart for strawberries and more jars (since now I'd have way more jam than I was planning on!) I was able to finish the jam. No it doesn't look or taste like Grandma Murdock's and it didn't quite set up all the way but it's done and in the freezer and I'm chalking this one up as a learning experience! PS if anyone wants some runny jam please let me know... we have A LOT!! (it's really not that bad, especially if you don't have Grandma's jam to compare it to:) )



On another note: I discovered this nest in my hanging flower basket the other day and don't know what to do about it. I feel bad taking it out but it makes it rather difficult to water the flowers with it in there. (notice the water I poured in the nest before I realized it was there!) Anyways, would I be terribly cold hearted if I took out? Do you think the bird would be okay with me just watering around it? What should I do?!

13 comments:

krista said...

Oh Kenna, that sounds like something that would totally happen to me. Next time your jam will turn out perfect! I was just laughing seeing all that sugar, it was too funny thinking of you stirring and stirring, yet I felt so bad for you at the same time because I know it takes great ambition to get something like that accomplished! I would love to try some jam, maybe we can test it out at the fam reunion!!!

Alicia said...

We had a similar experience with Raspberry Jam this year! We LOVE it and saw some on sale, so we took a stab at it. Yeah, it didn't turn out quite the same, but I guess it will work. I think that our Grandma's just have a secret touch that we don't...maybe when we get to be their age we will finally make some great jam! hehe How are you feeling these days!?

Ashley said...

Love your jam story! Walmart and Cindy to the rescue! I made my first batch of strawberry freezer jam a few weeks ago, it didn't turn out perfect but I was proud of myself for attempting it, so kudos to you! I would totally take that birds nest out. Call me cold hearted, but there are no eggs or anything in there, I'd say chuck it!

Matt and Adge said...

wow...how much sugar was that?? looks like you won't have to buy jam for awhile. i've been wanting to make jam (actually i haven't wanted to make it as much as i've been wanting to eat it), but it just seems like such a project. your post is making me interested in trying my hand at it...

Cindy said...

Oh Kenna...I feel for you. I've never made jam b/c I'm afraid that something exactly like that would happen to me (which I'm sure it would). I would love to taste your jam, I'm sure it's just divine...even if it is runny. I can picture you years from now teaching a class in RS on "jam making". I know you'll perfect it, you're just that good :)

Cindy said...

p.s. we just barely had a bird nest situation here too. the momma kept staring at me everytime i would go inside. one day it was gone and ben said he threw it away! the only problem is that there WERE eggs in it. i felt horrible, but at least the creepy bird is gone:)

Bryce and Jamie said...

Way to go Kenna!! Grandma would be so proud of you following in her footsteps. :)

S&J Jones Family said...

That is a BIG bowl of sugar! I thought you were going to say that you added twice the amount of sugar. I bet it turned out yummy though. I have no idea what I would do about the nest.

April said...

That is so cool Kenna becuase I just taught a RS class on making strawberry jam last week! Mine were a little runny too becuase I only wanted to put in half the sugar it called for. Isn't it a great feeling after completing it? :)

Scott & Jennifer said...

My hero! You're very inspiring!

Something else that grandma's jam has, A LOT of experience! One day your children and grandchildren will be comparing there jam to yours! (I love runny homemade strawberry jam.)

About the nest, I think it looks cool - if you haven't chucked it yet, water around it, or display it else where.

It's been quite sometime since we've chatted. Hope things are going well with you.

We miss y'all!!!
Love ya!!

Kim and Seth said...

That is a LOT of sugar. . . and a LOT of jam. I dont think you will need a next experience with all that jam, it looks like a lifetime supply! I bet it is yummy though! I still have not tried my hand at jam making.

Oh, and seth and i just cleared a nest out of our attic, i wish i had taken a picture of it. . . it was HUGE! After all the critters nests we have found in and around our house lately i think i am turing a little bit hard. . . i say take it out, there are no eggs or babies in there, they will rebuild. Although, it does look kind of pretty in there.

MegRich said...

I have the same feeling about making jam- I just don't think it'll be as good as Grandma Murdock's. But it looks like your's turned out alright in the end. Way to tackle the jam making task! I have yet to muster the courage to attempt. At least I'll know to make sure to go by the strawberry jam recipe and not the strawberry-raspberry jam recipe. :) That's totally something I would have done!

Bethany said...

Poor Kennos. I feel your pain. I can't tell you how many times I've done things like that. The jam looks pretty good though. I mean, you can never have too much sugar, right?