Monday, August 8, 2011

Blueberry jam or is it jelly?

Farm fresh blueberries bound for a jelly jar

I can never remember the difference.  I think one has seeds and fruit bits and the other does not.  Any way...

I went blue berry picking last Monday for the very first time.  When I was growing up, my sister and I would go to the orchards and farms with my mom for strwaberries, cherries and apples, but she never went for blueberries.  And I've honestly never really been a big fan of blueberries until this summer.  This is the summer of food discovery for me.  Up until a month ago I hated sweet peppers, until I tried them again, fully expecting to hate them still, and to my surprise - I don't hate them.  Same with blueberries.

So I decided to go blueberry picking.  It was SOOO easy!  The bushes were LOADED.  I wished I brought my camera.  I just put the pint box under the limb and pulled ever so slightly on the bunch and they fell into the box by the half dozen or more.  In less than 30 mins I had collected 10 pints!

Now, what to do with all these berries?  Jam.  Or is it Jelly.  Oh who cares!  It's good either way.  And surprisingly easy to make as well.  Once you've got your jars, just buy a box of Sure-Jell and all the instructions are right inside.  It goes something like this.  Wash up your jars, lids and metal rings.  Put the lids in some really hot water and let them sit until your ready.  Wash up your fruit and crush it down, measure out the needed amount and boil it with the Sure-Jell pectin.  Then add your sugar and boil it for a minute or so.  Pour the piping hot fruit into your jars and then give them a hot water bath to seal.  Again, just follow the directions in the Sure-Jell box and they'll tell you everything you need to know.

Now, not everyone can do this in their own home...I had to go to my mom's house.  And that's because I have a glass top stove.  The glass can't handle the weight of the pot of water and filled jars.  So I have to pack up everything, including my twin daughters and haul it over to mom's house.  But in the end the jam is SOOO good, it was worth the hassle.  I've been eating blueberry jam (or jelly) on toast every day for at least one meal a day for the past few days now.
Homemade blueberry jam on toast.  YUM!

You should try it!  Or at least go to your local U-pick farm and pick some to eat out of hand.  You can check out this site called to find a farm near you.  Enjoy!

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