Wednesday, June 22, 2011

In a jam

The mountain is wooded, and because it's so shady, i haven't ever managed much in the way of a garden.  But this time of year, the mountain gives me berries: first black raspberries, then wineberries (invasive, but at least they're tasty - i'll do my part to keep them from reseeding), then blackberries.
The black raspberries - my favorite - are in now.  There aren't that many canes, so i particularly treasure what i get.  These are right in front of my house - i also venture as far as the sides of the road down by the mailbox.  When the wineberries are in, i'll have gallons and gallons of berries, but i only managed a quart and a half, maybe two, of the black raspberries.  I resisted the urge to eat them, one at a time, paired with chocolate chips.  I saved them for jam.  The jam is fine as jam, of course, but it's also really excellent as a flavoring for ice cream (with chocolate chips, naturally) - but that's a post for another day...

Today was the day for the first batch of jam for the year.  First, i sorted and rinsed the berries.  Gorgeous little things, aren't they?  I fished out the mulberries that i'd tossed in when i didn't have a separate container.  The mulberries will probably be squeezed for juice, and i'll add that in with the mixed berry jam i'll do later...

Then it's time to mash the berries (always a little bit discouraging, because you loose so much volume - but the colors are just wonderful) and add the sugar.  Jam season is rough on the supplies of sugar - probably time to go see if Costco still has the giant bags of organic sugar...

I'll likely freeze a few berries for baking and such, but it's awfully nice to know i can have fruit sitting on the shelf and not worry about space in the freezer (which is often full of beef, since we buy from a local farm) or power failures in bad weather.  So i have a few little jars, some of which may get given as gifts, and some of which will probably be hoarded until next year's berries are almost in sight... but i'll have a little taste of summer on my shelf!

3 comments:

Melinda said...

Yum!

vintage eye said...

Looks delicious! :)

Fripperie said...

Thanks! The set is a little soft, but that'll make it better for ice cream... might reprocess a couple jars to get them a little firmer for spreading, though.