Winter in Florida isn’t like winter everywhere else. I have worn shorts on Christmas day more times than I can remember. However, even this year has been unusually warm. So much so, that we promised our kids a day of paddle boarding and kayaking on JANUARY 2!!! Considering how warm (downright HOT!) it’s been, we figured that a day out on the water would be great. Not so much! After driving an hour to the beach, it began to rain and the temperature dropped to 59 degrees! I know…You’re probably saying that I should have checked the weather reports. I did. In fact, it wasn’t supposed to rain or get “cold” until the next day, but as is the norm for Florida, weather forecasts are merely a suggestion–not a prediction, and certainly, not reliable.
So what do we do? We have two kids, one of which wanted to try out his new paddle board and one who wants to prove he can paddle his own kayak. Well, in that weather, momma says “NO!”
I made the executive decision that this would be the day that we make jam! Yay!!! Ok, the “yay!” was me, but they came around and participated, and in the end, we had 10 jars of what we’re calling “Summertime Jam” and 2 jars of pickled asparagus.
3 c. chopped rhubarb (we used frozen)
2 c. crushed blueberries (we left some of them whole)
3 c. crushed strawberries
1/3 c. lemon juice
2 boxes of powdered pectin
8 c. sugar
1/2 tsp margarine
In a large pot, combine fruit and lemon juice. Stir in pectin. Bring to a full rolling boil (a boil that cannot be stirred down). Stir in sugar and margarine (margarine will prevent foam) and return to a full rolling boil. Boil and stir for 1 minute.
Remove from heat and skim off any foam (probably none, if you used margarine). Ladle jam into 10 sterilized half pint (8 oz) jelly jars, leaving 1/4 inch head space. Wipe rims clean. We use an alcohol swab to make sure everything is clean. Place lids and screw on bands until fingertip tight.
Place jars into a large canning pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and process for 5 minutes. Remove jars and cool.