Making jams often is thought of us as a female activity, but who’s going to teach the next generation of little girls now that home jamming, pickling, gardening and bread making have almost evaporated from daily life? Since my wife doesn’t know how to make jam and I want to teach my daughters how it is up to me. What lost life skill will you be teaching your children this year?
Why jamming is fun, frugal and fact-filled
In February, I took the TV Free 28 Challenge and cut out all TV from my life for 28 days. Since then more activities around our house have occurred away from the TV. Rhubarb Jam was jammed packed full of fun to replace TV tonight.
Creating anything with a toddler is a fine art, since most times they still have a very short attention span, but thankfully my daughter loves measuring and stirring. However, With a toddler that woke up on the wrong side of a nap, I was a little concerned that it would flop, but a quick trip to the garden for a stalk of rhubarb for her to munch on was just the cure to the ‘after nap blues’.
Jamming overall I learned is a quite simple process (basically mix and cook)and my daughter loved putting all the ingredients together. Adding ingredients is her favorite part or cooking(other than eating).
Teaching jam making isn’t my only goal behind activities like this. It is also important to reinforce everyday knowledge such as(for a toddler):
- the stove and pans are hot don’t touch
- if we accidentally touch a hot pan we run cold water or ice on it immediately
- definition of orange zest
- Rhubarb leaves are poisonous
Question Examples used to teach my daughter
- Why don’t we touch the stove?
- What do we do if you get burned?
- (Pointing at orange zest) What is this called?
- What do we do with the rhubarb stalk?
- Why do we break of the rhubarb leaf?
Jamming just saved me money
Buying jam at the grocery store is typically several dollars, but making homemade Rhubarb Jam cost next to nothing. It required me to have these ingredients which we regularly stock and rhubarb in order to make 2 – half pint jars:
- 4 Cups cut up rhubarb
- 1 c. white sugar
- 2 tsp. orange zest
- half of a 1/3 c. orange juice
- 1/4 c. water
And since rhubarb comes back year after year I haven’t had to worry about replanting or anything since I got a crown of rhubarb from my grandfather 4 years ago.
This was a terrific activity for a busy day with my daughter, and the jam is terrific and if you aren’t too fond of rhubarb I would still suggest trying this.
What type of jams, marmalades,
or jellies have you made?