The blackberry jam I mentioned in my last post is fantastic.  From beginning to end, I have enjoyed the process.  I started ‘hunting’ blackberries when working in my grandmother’s expansive yard and thought it was a lot of fun, despite the my vine-scratched arms.  Anyway, I couldn’t decide what to do with all these berries–a pie? a sauce?  What to do?  So, my husband recommended we make the berries into jam and can them;  and I thought this was a great idea.

We set out to our local grocer and picked up a package of pectin, with thorough directions included, and a case of canning jars.  The directions were a little tricky, but the patience of my husband got us through it.  We set off on our adventure to ‘jam’ these blackberries.  We began by crushing the berries in a large bowl with a meat pulverizing tool and sieved the mush into a measuring cup.  Once we attained as much juice as we could, we added a bit of pulp to make it jam-y.  We used less pulp than recommended–mostly, because I think blackberry seeds are quite offensive when caught in your teeth–but I think we did well with our decision.  Regardless, the jam was canned and set up for 24 hours and we think it turned out wonderfully.  I think the 9 jars we got might not be enough until next year, even.

The benefits of utilizing foods nearby are tremendous.  It’s amazing that we made such a delectable treat with the berries of a plant that most people consider to be a trash plant or a weed and usually try to exterminate.  The hunt was fun, and we had a great time ‘jammin’ together (the process is a lot easier with two people, I think) and he even helped me pick a bunch of them.

Have you ever done something like this?  How did you do it?  I have a lot to learn.