Monday, August 27, 2007
On the 17th, I picked three large bowls of blackberries within a few hours. The crop this year is fantastic, although it is a little late because of our harsher than usual winter. I can't wait till I can find time to go pick some more and fill my freezer. I love having frozen blackberries all year around because they are a great addition to crisps. Mixed with apples, raspberries, strawberries, blueberries or all alone, they make a great crisp or cobbler. This time, I decided I would make jam, since I had picked so many in my first picking. I got out all the items I would need for the jam and seeing it all out on the counter gave me a burst of energy. I ended up making three entire batches of jam. The only weird thing that happened was that I accidentally doubled the certo/pectin amounts for the first batch, so they are more solid and jiggly than all the other jars. I am sure they will still taste fine, but the jam might look a little funny! I always use Certo brand pectin and Kerr jars with new flat tops every year. Seems to work good. I also use the inversion method, which is great for jam because it is so easy and a lot quicker. You make sure the jars are freshly clean, and the lids are freshly boiled and sitting in hot water. Once the jam is ready, you ladle it into each jar (make sure you have a nice wide funnel), place the flat tops on, screw on the bands and flip them upside down for 5 minutes. After the five minutes is over, you flip them back over and within the next hour you will hear the surprising "POP" as the lids are sucked inwards and the jam is sealed. It is then ready for consumption any time within the next few years! I have recently eaten jam that was sealed this way two years ago, and it tasted just as fresh as my recent batch! I find that making jam is so fun because it gives such a sense of accomplishment. It is nice to have things that you made yourself and later on they remind you of the fun you had in the process.