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Wife, Mother, Mimi, lover of all things creative... sewing, embroidery, painting, collage... God and family are the most important things in my life.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Jamming Good Time

So summer is in full swing and I am enjoying putting food up.  I love making jams and jellies, canning foods, and all that stuff.  It makes me feel domestic, nostalgic, and productive all at the same time.

The smell of jelly cooking on the stove takes me back to my childhood.  One of my favorite summer activities was picking wild dewberries.  We lived on a dirt road and my brothers and I would wander down it barefooted with pails in hand.  The trick was to actually make it back home with something in our buckets, hopefully enough for Mom to make a berry pie.  We usually came home with out hands and mouths stained a pretty purple color and a few berries in our pails.

When Momma really wanted to accomplish something like jelly making she would go berry picking with us, and would coax us to put more in our pails than our mouths.  I just loved those days.  I've tried to recreate them with my grandchildren, until a couple of years ago we had too many snake encounters.  Our little dog came between Sweet Cheeks and a coiled water moccasin.  I haven't wanted to brave it with them since then.  Maybe I'll try again next year, we'll see.

We did do a little blueberry picking at a local u-pick farm.  When the berries and sugar started boiling and that sweet jelly aroma wafted through the kitchen, it took my right back to the house where I grew up and those sweet memories.

Here's the blueberry jam recipe I used.  I found it here.

Blueberry Jam


  • 6 cups blueberries, washed and picked over
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 4 cups sugar
  • 1 pouch (3 ounces) liquid fruit pectin


Prepare the canner and jars. Add water to a canner with rack; add cleaned jars and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to keep jars hot. The water should be high enough to be at least 1 inch above filled jars. I usually fill it about halfway and I keep a kettle or saucepan of water boiling on another burner to add to the canner as needed. Heat water in a small saucepan; put the lids in the saucepan and bring almost to the boil; lower heat to very low to keep the lids hot.Scald jars in boiling water and keep warm.
Pour about 3/4 of the berries into a large pot and mash. Stir in the remaining berries, sugar, and lemon juice. Stirring constantly, bring to a rolling boil which cannot be stirred down. Immediately add the pouch of fruit pectin. Stirring constantly, bring back to the boil and continue boiling for 1 minute. Skim off excess foam, if necessary, and ladle the hot berry mixture into prepared jars.
With a clean dampened cloth, wipe the rims of the jars. Place the flat lids on the jars then close caps with screw-on rings firmly. Arrange the filled jars in the canner and add more water, as needed, to be at least 1 inch above the jars. Bring to a full boil. Cover and continue boiling for 10 minutes. Remove the preserves to a rack to cool completely.
Check for seals (the middle of the caps should have made a popping sound while cooling and will stay down.
Makes about 4 1/2 to 5 half-pints.

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