Here in Canada's far north, spring hasn't quite arrived. Yes, our spruce tips and poplar buds have appeared, but berry season seems very far away. Yet recently someone asked me how to make no-cook jam, and I realized that it is actually a wonderful hands-on homeschool activity.
While we homeschool year-round, in the summer months we ease up a bit. We enjoy art and science activities outdoors - including gardening and harvesting whatever we can forage from our property.
This includes rosehips, cranberries, blueberries, and everbearing raspberries. Several years ago we learned how to make no-cook jam with everbearing raspberries from the bushes behind our water tank room.
It seems to me that our everbearing raspberries aren't nearly as sweet or flavorful as the wild raspberries growing on the rocks further away from the house. However, they're plentiful.
I can pick them fast. It took me about thirty minutes to gather what we needed to make one batch of no-cook everbearing raspberry jam.
It has been over twenty years since I've made jam. So I took the easy route and simply used the basic no-cook jam recipe that came with the package of Certo pectin.
Preserving for Self-Reliance
Whether we are foraging with the kids, working in our northern garden, processing meat chickens or fishing, preserving our food is an important activity in our home.
Like so many of our readers, we just don't know what the future holds. Food security in the north has long been an issue. Shipping costs are high, and weather-related delays all too common.
I feel much less anxiety knowing that we can gather, grow, and raise the food we need to feed our family. And that means finding ways to preserve it to last through our long, cold winter months.
Now, as a major cookbook collector, I'm pretty sure I have at least ten or twenty old-fashioned raspberry jam recipes in my cookbook collection. However, this was a simple recipe to make with the girls. And by the way, if you haven't yet picked up a copy of the Ball Book of Preserving, I highly recommend it.
I'm always looking for ways to include homestead skills and lessons into our days. In fact, I'm often learning right alongside them as part of our homeschooling and homesteading life.
Here's how we did it.
How to Make No-Cook Jam with Everbearing Raspberries
First, pick your raspberries. You'll need at least six cups of fresh everbearing raspberries to produce the three cups of crushed berries the recipe calls for.
Next, wash them gently. I found that our berries were pretty delicate compared to the more compact wild berries we picked a few weeks ago.
Lay them on a cookie sheet or plate in one layer, and start mashing them up.
This is a great job for little hands, and my four-year-old was eager to get mashing with a potato masher. While you can strain out the seeds, we didn't bother.
Measure three cups of mashed raspberries.
Next, pour them into a bowl and add the sugar that your recipe calls for. Let the raspberry/sugar mix sit for ten minutes.
During this time, in a saucepan mix your pectin crystals (I used Certo by Kraft) with ¾ cups of water. Bring to a boil and let it simmer. I let it go for about three minutes. Add this to your raspberry/sugar mixture.
Then simply ladle (or pour) it into clean, dry glass jars. The instructions that came with the pectin said not to sterilize the jars. I just washed them out with boiling water to be extra-safe.
After letting our jam cool for 24 hours, we decided to freeze all the jars but one. Fresh jam on toast for breakfast, friends.
This post is part of the Homestead in Your Homeschool Series which is included in the Homeschooling Fun Through the Summer series 2021.
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