Saturday, August 10, 2013

Backyard Discoveries

Check this out.  These bad boys are all blackberries.  I noticed them while picking blueberries in the neighbors' yard.  When I mentioned to them that they had a wall of berries, they were shocked, having no clue that they existed!  So I went to pick.  Although there were many berries, there were also many spiders and thorns.  

And I'm a wuss.  

So I only managed to pick a small bowl-full, but there was enough to make jam.  Since I decided to make do only with what I gathered, I checked Ball's pectin calculator to find a recipe.  In the end, I decided that I didn't really want to go the pectin route, but luckily I ran into this generalized chart for jam making.  

I do a lot of recipe adjusting in order to fit the amount of ingredients I already have.  I know you're not really supposed to, but hey what can I say?  I'm just a rebel, baby.  Anyway the chart calls for equal parts berries and sugar, so it was a pretty simple modification.  As I remember, I had about 3/4 of a cup of crushed blackberries, but I made a full cup by adding some blueberries.  

I had a pretty small yield, two not quite full jars.  And of course I took one of the jars to the neighbors, as that seemed only fair.  I finally got around to trying this today, and it was actually very good.  I definitely overcooked it, which is easy to do in such a small batch, but it wasn't ruined.  The seeds are in there which is only moderately annoying.  I think I'd probably strain those out next time.

Oh, and there will be a next time.  I'm sicking Hubs on those spiders next year man.  No eight-legged spawn of Satan is going to keep me from delicious jams and preserves!  Well, at least not as long as I've got my knight in shining armor (or dork in tin foil) around to ward them off...


  1. I'm so jealous! You don't find blackberry thickets very often any more! :)

    1. Morgan, you would not believe the stuff that grows incognito around here. We got a membership to the town pool this year, and right outside of it is the biggest blackberry thicket I've ever seen! Nobody really picks off of it either. We've made many a post-pool meal out of them!