Recently I got some strawberries and needed to make them into jam. The Dolls were very excited about this idea and wanted to help. The other dolls were busy. But Josefina, Susan and Ellen were available to give me a hand (or 6 hands actually). Josefina and Ellen had helped me with Jam before so they knew what to do for the most part.
Plus I think maybe they wanted to help because they had new aprons. Which makes cooking more fun 🙂 The aprons were drafted using a pattern/picture from pinterest (see it here). If you have a program such as Silhouette it is very helpful turning pinterest posts into patterns. Using the software you can resize the images to fit your doll. The embroidery design is from Embroidery Library (see the design here) it was shrunk down to be their size using the method described here.
“Ooo they look so yummy!” said Susan “Can I eat one?”
“No!” said Josefina. “We need them all for jam.”
“Just one?” pleaded Susan…”look this one has a spot on it!”
Josefina was firm. “We can trim it out later….but if we start eating them we won’t have enough left.” Susan reluctantly agreed, since she knew it was likely she wouldn’t stop with just one strawberry.
“Alright then, let’s get started so I won’t be tempted to eat them.. What’s first?” said Susan.
“We have to wash the lids and jars….make sure they are super clean! We don’t want any germs in the jars.” Josefina told her.
“These are the rings. They fasten down the lids…we will just pour boiling water over them to make sure they are sterile.”
“How do I clean the jars?” inquired Susan. “The jars need to be washed thoroughly with soap and water. Then pour boiling water over them too” answered Josefina.
While they were busy washing Josefina told Susan all about when they baked and decorated a cake. Susan hadn’t come to live with them yet when they had that adventure. She was very impressed and wanted to decorate another cake! Josefina thought they had better finish the jam first since it was a lot of work.
“Are you done washing the jars yet?” called Ellen from the other room.
“The directions say we need to wash the fruit too. We should make sure the water isn’t too hot or too cold when we wash them. It doesn’t say that specifically, but that sounds safer….and then mash the berries. …and then add sugar….and then cook them at 220 degrees, Wow that is hot. I wonder what would happen if we did it at 225 degrees instead?….” she continued. Josefina and Susan were only half listening by this point.
After they finished washing the jars and strawberries. They brought the fruit out to the table and prepared to cut the tops off. Josefina was the oldest so she handled the knife.
After she got some cut up, Susan got the masher and started smashing.
Ellen was still investigating all the fascinating information on the recipe sheet. Until she noticed what Susan was doing. Then she started telling Susan about the time she visited a farm and saw goats…and she imagined that churning goat milk was probably similar to smashing strawberries only not as squishy. Maybe more “sloshy” instead of “smashy” (I’m not exactly sure the definition of “sloshy” and “smashy” but I think I know what she meant. ) Susan thought that sounded like fun too.
Josefina decided she needed to get them back on track, before Susan started wanting to go find a goat to milk and make butter. So she asked Ellen how many berries they needed to cut up.
Ellen dove back into studying her paper and presently informed them they needed 5 cups of berries.
“Before we mashed them or after we mash them?” asked Josefina.
“Ooo good question. That would make a big difference wouldn’t it?” said Susan. She paused her work just in case they needed to measure them before they were mashed.
“Umm, after they are mashed. We should get the measurement then.” confirmed Ellen.
Relieved that they hadn’t messed up yet. They continued working. Josefina finished cutting up the strawberries.
Then she joined Ellen and Susan looking into the pot to see how it looked.
“Ouch!” She and Ellen banged heads by accident.
Susan was getting tired so they switched out and took turns mashing.
Since they were almost done with the mashing…They asked Ellen to pull out the directions again. They didn’t want to make any mistakes!
Ellen asked if they wanted to try the freezer jam.
“No, we already washed all the jars..so we don’t want to waste all that work.” Susan replied.
“Oh true! I didn’t think of that, let’s stick with normal jam” said Ellen.
Ellen took the last shift mashing, till they all decided it was done.
Then they measured out the sugar….
Susan dumped in the Sure-gel and butter.
“Next let’s put in the lemon juice” said Josefina.
” How much does it say we should put in?” said Ellen as she looked it up.
“Hey! wait a minute! Lemon juice isn’t in the recipe!!” said Ellen indignantly.
Ellen is one of those people that believes in strictly following the rules. It took quite a bit of soothing to get her okay with adding something that wasn’t in the recipe. I had to assure her I had seen it in several recipes, and that it would not ruin the recipe…and it would be all right. She was still rather worried but she didn’t fuss too much.
She helped them climb on the stove and then stayed on the ground while they stirred. (I had to help get the pot up there). I think I saw Ellen had a glass of water ready in case anything caught on fire.
“Keep stirring!! Don’t let it burn!” Susan encouraged Josefina.
Josefina said it was dangerous on the hot stove…. she insisted that Susan and Ellen stay down so they wouldn’t get hurt.
She carefully filled the jars with the ladle….and wiped the tops clean. Then called me and I helped put the jars in the water bath.
After this we waited a bit for the jars to get up to the right temperature…but when it was time to get the jars out of the water bath I was busy. So I didn’t get any pictures. We did get a final picture with all of them with their jam they had made.
“Look at all the jam we made!!” crowed Susan. She was very excited because she had never helped make jam before. “What can we bake next?!?!” she asked the other two.
Which I thought was a very good question…What do you think they should bake next?
p.s I just realised this is my 30th post. Little milestones are fun 🙂 Thank you SOOOO much to everyone who subscribes to my little blog, or leaves comments for me…or even just views it! It is so fun for me to see comments or how many people have viewed it each day. I hope this blog is 1/2 as enjoyable for you all as it is for me writing it 🙂
If you do want to follow the blog and get an email every time a new post is added; I found out how to add a button for it to make it easier. There should be a button at either the bottom of the post (if on a mobile device), or at the side near the top ( if on a desktop) Thank you for reading!