Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Off to the Strawberry Patch! (Freezer Jam Recipe and a Craft)

My day started bright and early capturing a few quick photos of Baby Girl. She is 10 months old today. *sigh* Time sure does fly!

I had just enough time to upload pictures before I grabbed the 4 year olds from my MIL's daycare and headed to the Pick Your Own Strawberry fields near my house. The kiddos were super excited. 

It stormed last night. That was not about to stop us. Kids like to get messy, right? 
So tromping through the mud we went! 

 After a little lesson on strawberry picking from me, they began to fill their baskets!

 Red from top to tip! That is the number one rule!

 It wasn't long before our baskets began filling up!

 Ready to mark where we stopped!

  Mr. Muscles needed to carry the baskets full of our berries!

 When we got home, we washed our berries and the used plastic knives to cut the green tops off to prep our berries for freezer jam.

I apologize for the lack of photos for the jam part. Having three helpers in the kitchen left me with no time to pick up the camera. This is the recipe out of the Dutch Gel pamphlet.
I pulsed the berries in my Ninja to mash them. You do not want to puree them.
Then measured out 4 cups of mashed berries.
We added 8 cups of sugar to the berries (Whoa!) and mixed it.
Meanwhile I added 2/3 cup of Dutch Jell (Clear Jell or Sure Jell will work also) to 1.5 cups of cold water and mixed.
I put that in a small pot on the stove and heated until boiling, stirring constantly.
When it boiled I dumped it over the berries and stirred for the recommended 3 minutes. Then transferred to jars and other freezer safe containers. This jam lasts in the freezer for 6 months and in the fridge for  3-4 weeks. Keep that in mind when choosing containers. It can be used as jam or ice cream sauce. You can make milkshakes with it too.

We made milkshakes with fresh strawberries and vanilla ice cream and just blended in the ninja until smooth. The kids were loving it.

For lunch we had PB and fresh strawberry jam! Along with some of our freshly picked strawberries.

 But we did not end the fun there! After rest time, it was time for a strawberry craft.
 Kiddos cut out a strawberry shape by folding a piece of red paper in half and drawing a half heart shape on and then cutting it out. Then traced their hands onto green paper and glued it on as the top of the berry. Then they dotted glue all over and added glitter for the seeds. We twisted green pipe cleaner to resemble the vine and added a string to hang.
 Cute! Now I need a nap! 

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