Editor’s note: This week, 7-year-old Derek Chase takes over his father’s column to share the family’s recent adventures in making jam.
My mom, dad, brother, Brad, and I made jam using 50 pounds each of strawberries and rhubarb and two bags of sugar.
In order to get the strawberries and rhubarb, we had to pick them, so we first went to my grandpa’s farm in Newburyport.
At Arrowhead, we walked over to the strawberries. Most of the strawberries were red ripe, but the most delicious ones were the overripe ones. Those that turned to overripe that day were perfect to eat. I ate some while picking.
There were rows and rows of strawberries, and we walked up and down picking them until we filled our buckets. After that, we walked all the way across the field to the other side of the farm to check out the rhubarb.
Grandpa Did took the tops off of the strawberries and cut up the rhubarb. Then we brought the baskets of fruit to the jelly place (R.E. Kimball and Company of Amesbury) where we went to make our jam.
First, we had to get hairnets on. Brad didn’t want to wear a hairnet, so he wore Dad’s hat. Then, we dumped the buckets of strawberries and rhubarb into a huge pot. The pot was so huge, it came up to my neck and was really wide.
Then, Kim and Kate, the owners of Kimball Jelly, turned on the heat, and the strawberries and rhubarb started to boil. We mixed them up using a giant spoon about the size of the pot. Kim told us that her dad carved the spoon for them out of wood. Then, we added two big bags of sugar and some pectin.