Saturday morning The Reluctant Farmer declared that we should go berry picking at a local farm that is known for growing the best berries in our area, and since we missed strawberry season, and were dangerously close to being out of jam, I eagerly agreed. When we arrived at the farm we were told they had black raspberries in season, and out into the field we went.
The field was very wet and muddy due to the massive amount of rain that we’ve received lately, but with the rain has come cooler temperatures, which is a Godsend for berry picking! We both took our time and worked up and down the rows of brambles, loading up our baskets and brought home 4 quarts of berries. I was amazed how beautiful these berries were, and I kept remarking about how perfect they looked, and they smelled even better than they looked!
As we were leaving the farm my mom called and told us that her neighbor had a huge crop of red raspberries that were going to waste, and wanted to know if we would be interested in any of those. Not one to turn down produce of any kind, let alone organic berries, off we went. We were able to harvest an additional 4 quarts of red raspberries off of those bushes.
With 8 quarts of berries, there was little else we could do except have a jam session on Saturday night. This year’s recipe is both simple, and guaranteed to put a smile on your face when served over vanilla ice cream. The following recipe is a simple jam recipe that even the most novice canner can master.
Simple Raspberry Jam
5 ¼ c. of raspberries
7 c. of sugar
1 package of powdered fruit pectin (1.75 oz)
Mash berries in a stainless steel pot. Stir in pectin and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Add sugar, and continue to stir, until mixture reaches a hard boil. Then stir constantly for 1 minute, afterwards turning off heat and filling jars. Leave ¼ inch head space. Process jars in water bath canner for 10 minutes. Makes 8 half-pints of jam.
When I posted on my Facebook page that we were going to make jam this weekend, I had several people that wanted to learn to make jam, but were afraid to try. I promise you this is the easiest way to prepare food, and once you get the hang of it you will be amazed by just how much food you are able to preserve with such little effort. If you are interested in canning, go to the library get yourself a book on canning and start reading. (I recommend Ball’s Blue Book Guide to Preserving.) Grab a friend too and you can have your own jam session. You won’t be able to buy the memories that you create together in a store, and if you need any help or have any questions I’m just one “click” away!