Allen and I are weird little crafty-homebody types. As such, this summer we have been concentrating on making jam from the berries we have been buying from local farms.
First, we made strawberry jam. This is a relatively simple jam to make - rinse, slice, and crush berries, put in pot, add pectin and sugar, put in jars, boil jars (so you don't kill your friends with scary bacteria) let cool. Boom, done. It was so simple, we were going to do more, but by the time we got around to it (read: it was too freakin' hot so we had to take a couple weeks off from standing around boiling water) it was raspberry season.
Raspberries, I thought, would be even easier than strawberries. No slicing involved! Just pick over, rinse, crush, cook, pour into jars, presto - raspberry jam. Unfortunately, I didn't realize how much work the "picking over" part was. Raspberries apparently cannot WAIT to become moldy. Their life's mission is not to spread their seeds, so much as become furry, mushy, nasty moldy little things. So, that process took forever and we only made one batch. I turned the rest of the raspberries into ice cream, which came out so well that I forgive their persistent moldiness.
This past weekend, Allen and I toddled up to Maine to visit my Dad and attend Tori's bridal shower (which I have only called a baby shower 72 times, sorry Tori) and more about that shindig later, but on the way home we picked up 12 pints of blueberries. Why? Because I am a MORON.
I thought, for some reason, that this would be the easiest jam of all! What a fool! Do you know what you have to do to little, teeny, tiny blueberries before you can crush them up? Remove the STEMS!!!!
If you haven't seen wild Maine blueberries before - well, I feel sorry for you because those giant sour things you get in the grocery store SUCK - they are about the size of a pea. Mom and I sat and picked stems off berries for hours. I know it was hours, because we had taped the knew Fox Reality-show sensation, "So, You Think You Can Dance?" and watched all three hours of it (with a break for dinner) while we fondled blueberries.
We didn't even get to the jam part, we'll do that tonight. You fuckers better appreciate this bullshit come ChrismaHanuKwanzaMass, I tells ya.
The only good thing about this, is that we didn't by TWENTY-FOUR pints. Whew. Seriously, though, I'm going to make some blueberry ice cream, and then maybe some blueberrie cheesecake icecream, so that should be good. And then, muffins. And then, the WORLD!
Anyway, I am excited to get my "I told you so" comment from Tori, who said that she would never make anything that you can buy more than 30 varieties of in the store. I still think it's fun to do some of these things on your own, though, and I like the idea of eating local fruits and vegetables year round. And there is nothing better than opening a jar of homemade strawberry jam in February, when you haven't seen the sun in weeks, and just thinking of summer. Nothing beats that, except maybe blueberry jam.
Next project: pickles!