Berries… Hmm…

StrawberriesOh, I know you can buy perfectly fine jams and jellies in the store, but there is something so much more satisfying about the ones you make yourself.

Maddie likes to make Strawberry Freezer Jam.  Mash the berries, add sugar and pectin, stir…  then into containers and into the freezer.  Man oh man does that jam taste like a June morning!  (Most of) The berries pictured here are now in the freezer in the form of jam.

CurrantsEmily prefers to can Currant Jelly.  Currants have plenty of pectin on their own, so you needn’t add any.  Just sugar… and heat.  Cook them until they start to gel.  Then into glass jars and onto the shelf.  I don’t think Emily realizes that after a week of training and getting camp ready, she will be picking currants and making jelly.

My friend Terry made a pie for his mom a few weeks back using elderberries he had picked and put up for the winter.  He made the mistake of giving me a bite to taste.  I’m totally hooked now!  Elderberries are blooming now.  I’ve been keeping my eyes peeled for blossoms long the road as I drive to work, or back and forth to Girl Scout Camp.  In early September, I plan to harvest some.  I can almost taste the jam already…

Elderberry Blossoms

Don’t worry, I’ll leave some for the birds.

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7 thoughts on “Berries… Hmm…

  1. Mmmmmmm! You make my mouth water. Elderberry pie is a local specialty here, a popular Mennonite recipe. I make jam and chutneys, but have never made jelly.

  2. Mmmm Jen, there’s *nothing* like homemade jam! I still make it the old fashioned way with Certo on the stove. My favs are strawberry and raspberry. I’ve never tried making currant jam!

  3. My mom used to make currant jelly from a bush at our house when I was little. Several years ago I planted one at my family’s home in Chicago. I never did anything with the berries except let the neighborhood kids graze until I found your reciepe. I was thrilled to find an old fashioned one that didn’t add pectin, the way my mom used make it. I added a handfull of blueberries to ensure a dark color, “juiced” them using a mouli to give it more texture, and added a couple of slices of fresh ginger to acentuate the tart taste of the currents. My kids also loved the process of seeing all the berries converted to into jam. We are saving it for a winter day when we need a reminder of the warm weather to come!

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