This blog is about two friends, miles apart, striving to pattern our lives after the Proverbs 31 woman. Here you will find our daily journeys, whether serious, funny, practical, or inventive. Thanks for stopping by and we hope you'll stop by often!

~Lauren & Page

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Blackberries, Part 2--Jam!

Proverbs 31:15 "She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens."

Confession: Last year was really the first time I really took on the venture of canning. I must say, it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be... Parts of it, I actually enjoyed! And the following is one of those parts...

As I mentioned previously (here), my husband has been "risking life and limb," braving the briars and poison ivy, to bring me these beautiful, summer blackberries. They are so good--and I am making the most out of this awesome, summer fruit!

One of the "biggies" on my list was to tackle making blackberry jam. (Jam is just jelly with the seeds and pulp.) Let me state up front, it's really not that hard--just a little time consuming! So don't think you can't do it, because you can!!

Ok, now that you're pepped up and ready to can--let's jam! Ha ha!!

My first recommendation would have to be to get this book: The "Ball Blue Book of Preserving". This book is all things canning, whether pressure cooking or a water bath. There are tons of pictures; it's so easy to read. There are also tons of recipes.

I love this book!

Here are my beautiful berries! Oh, doesn't your mouth just water?!!?!?

And here is my little companion who came in with the berries...

Normally, I'm not a "bug person", but this little guy was so cute!

The recipe for any type of berry jam is easy:
9 c. of crushed berries 6 c. of sugar

So, crush your berries. This is not an exact science--just smoosh 'em the best you can...

Then add your sugar. Here's my set up:

I have my berries boiling, the water bath boiling, and some extra water boiling to pour in the water bath and/or pour over jars.

And here's the rest of the set up:

When he's eating, he's happy. Such a little man! ; )

A mom's gotta do what a mom's gotta do!

Cook your berries down (this does take longer than one would think). You're suppose to bring them to the "gelling point". Slowly bring the berries to a boil, then rapidly boil to the gelling point. This is the point where the jam comes off the spoon in sheets; its very thick. Stir often.

At this point, I take my clean jars and lids, put them in a clean, plugged sink, and run the hottest tap water over them that we've got. You can also use some of the extra water you've got going on the stove. The jars have to be hot before you can put the jam in them.

When the jam is finally ready, pour hot jam into the hot, dried jars--leave a 1/4" headspace at the top. Take particular care to make sure the rims of the jars and lids are clean for a good seal.

Place each jar in the water bath as you go.
I filled 7 jam jars (and had a little extra left to put in the fridge and eat right away)!!

Submerge the jars in the boiling water bath, with at least an inch of water above the jars (use the extra batch of boiling water to cover if necessary). Boil with the lid on bath for 15 minutes.

When done, remove jars (which are very hot!) and put in a safe place overnight to cool and seal. (Such a satisfying noise to hear the lids pop and seal! Melts the heart... ha!)

Then... BOOM! You're done! : )

Yummy Blackberry Jam!


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