19 August 2013

Jammed Summer

It started at Heider's Berry farm--with strawberries.
The very first 2013 batch of jam was strawberry freezer jam. I hadn't made any kind of jam in 25 years, except for one failed attempt at Orange Marmalade. But, now we have grandchildren who love jam...
Then, the red raspberries ripened at Heider's. . We switched to cooked jams, for the first time ever, and made raspberry and strawberry-raspberry jam.

More red raspberry jam...

The Tree-Ripe Citrus Co. truck came back to Countryside Nursery twice--mid-July and August 3rd. With the first 1/2 bushel, we cooked some fresh peach jam (with one fat blackberry in each jar). We also froze 4 quarts of sliced peaches for future pies. (With lemon juice for freshness and a splash of orange juice for sweetness). Unfortunately, someone left the freezer door ajar and we lost 3 quarts.
The second time we bought 5 lbs. of blueberries and another 1/2 bushel of Georgia peaches. We carefully froze (with Fruit Fresh and orange juice) 7 quarts of peaches (and locked the freezer door!) and several more jars of cooked peach jam. [We've actually promised half of the product of the second half bushel to our friend. (Jill Stone's Wild Ride, since she was unfortunately out-of-town during both Tree-Ripe visits to Crystal Lake.)

Just about this same time my brother PJ gave us fresh blackberries from his bushes. On suggestion, we mixed some freshly-frozen, and slightly thawed blueberries in for added sweetness.
From most reports--the best blackberry jam ever.

Thinking my jammin' days were over for the summer, I was surprisingly sucked into making some grape jam when PJ showed me his lovely Canadice grapes. Tiny grapes, about 50% larger than teeny Champagne grapes. We had a solid gallon of bunches, then added about one cup of the aforementioned blueberries to the stemmed grapes. The recipe called for 6 cups of puréed grapes, and we hit the mark perfectly (parfait).
I'm really done now. Really. We have enough jam for our kids, grandkids, Jill, PJ, us, and any friends we decide to gift.

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