My family loves strawberry freezer jam. My kids won't eat any other kind (not grape, peach, berry, or even store-bought strawberry) and Savannah eats a PB&J pretty much every day. Therefore, we go through a LOT of strawberry jam. Just before the move we ran out and almost died. Not really, but Savannah started asking me daily when I would make more jam. I told her we would just as soon as we moved. Well, then we moved and got busy unpacking and strawberries weren't on sale that week and ...
One day when we'd all had enough, I decided I didn't care if I paid double for strawberries, we were making jam that day! But just to test our luck, I stopped at Aldi where strawberries are on sale at least 2/3 of the year and lo and behold, there they were for $1.50/lb. Good enough for me!
Well, after all that anticipation and waiting, Savannah insisted we make the jam ASAP. I made a batch and we were all happy and everything was right in the world again. As I did the math, however, I realized that to get through a year I would probably need to make at least 3-4 MORE batches of jam. ('Tis a ridiculous amount of sugar, I tell you. Don't do the math.) So back to the store we went. This time the girls wanted to help.
They are good little helpers for the most part even if things do take longer and get messier when they are around.
One interesting fact I learned while making jam this time. I was introduced to the world of freezer jam through my mother-in-law, who swears by MCP pectin. I've tried them all now and I do like MCP best because it makes a thicker, less watery jam. It turns out that MCP is made by Sure-Jell, who also makes another type of pectin (simply labeled Sure-Jell). Although I can't find anything indicating they are different in their description, they call for different amounts of fruit and use different ingredients in their jam recipes and a google search confirmed their formulas are different. So basically, Sure-Jell decided to make two different types of pectin but markets them exactly the same with one small difference: MCP is only distributed on the west coast. Bah! Why, oh why? I was fortunate to have a few boxes my wonderful sister-in-law shipped to me to get us through, but I am totally baffled and frustrated why I can't buy MCP here. Guess I'll add that to my list of things-to-buy-when-I-visit-Utah.