Sitting on the hay wagon in our front field was one of my favorite ways to relax and unwind as a teenager. Especially if I had the latest Seventeen magazine or something dairy related. I spent so many hours walking my show cows around that field. We used to walk them up and down the driveway, but the gravel was sometimes hard on their feet so it was just easier to lead the cows around the field. Showing my cows in 4-H was one of the highlights of my childhood. Learn more about life as a 4-H kid at the fairs here.
|JoJo was my favorite show cow. She's a Guernsey, which means her coloring is fawn and white. Holsteins are black and white and are the most common. I always thought Guernseys were the prettiest. They don't produce much milk, but they are sweet cows.
The fairs started in late April or early May with the spring shows and ended with our state fair (The Puyallup Fair...now the Washington State Fair) in mid-September. It's now November and while the cows got a bit of a break from show practice, the key to winning showmanship is working with the cows all year round.
Back to the jam. There's nothing like homemade jam. If you aren't into canning and don't cook, don't worry. This recipe is extremely easy.
Mom's secret is to add a small amount of butter to the berry and sugar mixture while it's on the stove to reduce foaming. It sounded silly at first, but it really works.
- 4 cups crushed berries
- 6 1/2 cups sugar
- 1 pouch Certo Premium Liquid Fruit Pectin
- 1 tbsp butter
To prepare jam:
- Start with about 8 cups of raspberries
- Crush berries
- Use a dry measuring cup to measure crushed berries and sugar and place in a large pan or stockpot
- Mix sugar and berries together
- Add 1 tbsp. butter (This reduces foaming)
- Cook on medium to high heat until it comes to a rolling boil
- Set a timer for 60 seconds
- Add the pectin
- Stir continuously for 60 seconds
- Promptly remove from heat
- SEE DIRECTIONS ON PREPARING JARS BELOW BEFORE PROCEEDING TO THE NEXT STEP
- When jam is done cooking, remove jars from the baking tray and place rightside up on a towel on the counter
- Use a funnel on the jars and a ladle to add jam to the jars
- Wipe the rims of all jars
- Place lids on jars
- Tighten bands on jars
- Turn jars upside down for about 10 minutes
- Turn jars rightside up
- You should hear the lids "pop" (seal)
- Let jars cool on a towel on the counter
To prepare jars: (Do this at the same time as jam is cooking)
- Place a baking tray over 2 burners on the stove
- Add jars upside down
- Add enough water to cover the rims of the jars (ensure that there is enough water throughout the process, you may need to add more)
- Turn the heat on high for both burners
- Periodically move the jars around so they heat evenly