Friday, June 06, 2008

Jammin' out

Last night we let Abigail stay up three hours past her bedtime to make the first batch of this year's jam with us. You see, while I'm fairly strict about bedtimes on the day-to-day, Abigail is a sufficiently adaptable child that I've been known to zoom around the rules every so often (like waking her up at 10 pm to eat a hot-out-of-the-oven chocolate chip cookie). When she was a little baby I would sneak into her room all the time and bring her out so I could cuddle her, although sometimes I had to be evasive about it because Neil wasn't exactly a supporter of the "disrupt the sleep schedule" way of thinking.

Juliet's another story--we don't mess with that kid at bedtime. Little Miss Clock is a well-regulated child who will go to sleep easily once per night. You wake her up, your night is shot.

Anyway, last night as I was pushing Abigail on the swings at 10:11 (and hoping nobody noticed that she was wearing nothing but underwear and LOTS of jam) while we waited for Neil to get back with the extra pectin, I thought about how sometimes these are the moments that make motherhood really worthwhile--out in the dark with my sticky little pumpkin, pointing out the stars and talking about the moon and how it feels at nighttime.

Okay, on to the pictures, since that's what you're really reading for. And let me note, I think jam-making is very kid-friendly, as long as you don't mind cleaning up the mess afterwards. We had a blast!

First, we washed and hulled a lot of strawberries.

Abigail tried to eat them as fast as they were hulled. She called it "helping" (which was also what she did while we were at the strawberry field. Let's just say I insisted on paying extra for all the ones she ate).

Then we washed them all over again. Abigail was our go-to girl for this part.

Then (my favorite) we smashed them up. Abigail was a little dubious at first.

Then she started to really enjoy herself.

Then she sort of went crazy. Let's just say it's a good thing we decided to paint the kitchen red.

Then we measured everything out (40 cups of sugar...whee!), Neil went to Walmart when I realized that I hadn't counted pectin beforehand and we were multiplying the recipe by 10 and needed 3 more boxes of pectin...when will I learn? I ALWAYS have to make a middle-of-the-process run at some point when we do jam!
Anyway. Our macerated strawberries, sugar, lemon juice, and pectin all combined to produce this loveliness...

...and Abigail began to help clean up...

...and sort of got side-tracked.

When we were finishing the dishes, we looked over and realized that she was sitting on the floor licking jam off her toes.

I can't even tell you how much fun we had.
And now if you'll excuse me, there's a princess dress-clad kid ready to mash berries with me. See ya!


Kayli said...

That looks like it was so much fun! What a cutie-head Abigail is.

tricki_nicki said...

That looks like so much WORK!! I can't even imagine letting my three boys mash strawberries. You're such a fun mom!!

rachel said...

Oh my gosh. Love the toe-licking picture. That's hilarious. Yummy jam!

Victoria said...

I love this - not only do i love making jam, but i have so many memories of making jam with my mom and this will be one Abigail will remember - so CUTE!!! I feel her with licking her toes to get at the good stuff - it is so worth it! :)

Kathryn said...

Wow that looks good! I'm pretty sure that would be a bad idea for me because I'd probably eat a jar a day. Yummy!!

danielle said...

oh that looks so so fun! Strawberry jam is like summer in a bottle. I can't wait to try your bread recipe!

Anonymous said...

Abigail licking jam off her toes reminds me of your wedding. Savanna was strapped into her car seat with your wedding cake sitting right in front of her, just out of reach. Monica thought it would be safe. Boy was she wrong!!! Savanna took off her shoes and socks, and stretched so she could stick her toes into the icing and lick it off. We were all so worried that you would freak out that we didn't tell anybody!
So, now the question is, have you freaked out?

Rachael said...

No, I think it's pretty funny, actually! I'm surprised Savanna didn't say anything--Abigail totally would have told about her exploits!

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