Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Dealing With Berries

It's berry season around here. My dreams of getting out to the fields to actually pick berries have not yet come true. However, one of our grocery stores has had some terrific prices on blueberries and strawberries and the last week has kept me busy getting them into the freezer.

A few of the berries ended up in cereal bowls, on top of tarts and in blueberry pancakes. I think about 25 pounds went into the freezer.

Then came the strawberries -- 24 pounds to be exact. And, they were GOOD strawberries -- the kind that actually smell like strawberries. Yum!

I flash-freeze all my berries on trays first before slipping them into freezer bags for long-term storage.There is something I really love about little square boxes of Ball jar lids. I'm not sure what it is. Maybe just the possibilities it suggests: of jars and jars and jars of jam!

This year, with little time on my hands, a friend suggested I try freezer jam. With her "virtual" help I made 18 cups of strawberry jam in one hour! I could not believe how easy this jam was to make! And, I love it's fresh color and taste. I think I like it better than cooked jam.

Isn't it beautiful?! I was so pleased to have so many jars to tuck away for the winter.

I've been thinking about my whole philosphy of jam making -- why do I do it? It's not really for my tastebuds, because I'm not supposed to eat it (that doesn't stop me from imagining how I would like to eat it). I think part of it is the desire for a well-stocked pantry and the sense of security such a pantry evokes. And it also gives one that feeling of being very domestic. :) So, whenever I have the time, energy, and availability of fruit, I'll probably be working hard to develop this relatively new hobby of mine.


Alicia said...

I LOVE LOVE strawberry freezer jam!

Monica said...

Where did you find such great sales on berries? Hopefully, it's not too late.

southseaislandhome said...

Hi Heather,
I happened to be flicking through a NZ magazine today and saw this recipe for a blueberry smoothie, and after reading your blog today just had to pass it on to you - it looks so yummy, and unfortunately it is not blueberry season here yet so I can't try it for awhile!
1 cup blueberries
1/2 cup yoghurt
1/2 a banana
1/2 cup ice
Blend yoghurt, banana and ice together until the banana is well blended. Add blueberries and blend on a low speed for 30 secs.

Thanks for your email. Can't wait to start it.
Rachel L

Unknown said...

Well, I guess I need a private lesson in freezer jam because mine didn't set! Ha! Doesn't it sound like your sister. Your jam looks beautiful though. I've got the strawberry syrup for sundaes if you ever need any! =)