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Apricot jamming is so much fun

Making apricot jam was a blast. Jenny, Laurel and I chopped 24lb of apricots and chatted. C and I searched on the Internet for some recipes, but in the end we followed the recipe on the pectin box. The directions were peppered with EXACT. We measured as exactly as one can using cups. Maybe we did it all wrong, but it was surprisingly easy. You just had to keep stirring and pay attention when it started to boil. Definitely not something you can do alone with two children, but "this was like a quilting bee!" Jenny exclaimed.

We mixed apricots, pectin and lemon juice and stirred it until it came to a rolling boil. Then added the sugar and stirred again to a rolling boil and let it boil for EXACTLY one minute, then immediately laddled the jam into jam jars. We boiled the jam jars afterwards to be safe instead of turning them upside down. We tasted the leftover jam and it was just right -- sugar sweet and tart with apricots and a hint of lemon. I hope the jam in jars tastes as good.

My friend Robert claims the right equipment means the difference between a fun experience and a difficult one. I agree with him about jam making. We bought a Back To Basics Home Canning Kit. The funnel contained the boiling sticky jam and made decanting a lot easier. The jar lifter saved our fingers from scalding in boiling hot water. The jar opener gave Special K practice with chopsticks. I thought C was brilliant to think of OSH for canning supplies and so did he. Then today a friend pointed out that it is Orchard Supply Hardware. Doh!

In the first batch, large pieces bobbed to the surface on the boil. So we chopped the rest finer. Jenn displayed her knife skills while Jenny and I watched in awe. The children were louder than her chopping.

Sylvia and Special K played princess. They found "princess shoes, princess necklaces, princess dolls." They dressed up in princess clothes.

We feasted on a delicious supper. We roasted pork tenderloin with apricot and Mary Anne's curry rub. My sister steamed squash and mashed potatoes. Jenny whipped up apricot cobbler.