Sunday, August 21, 2011


Howdy B&B readers!  Some of you may have heard that if you get a tattoo that you'll catch the 'bug' and want to get many more.  Well we're here to tell you that the same is true for making jam - once you start, you may not want to stop {pop culture reference: or like Pringles, once you pop you can't stop}.

     sidenote: Carrie would like to note that she doesn't have any tattoos.

While Kristina was visiting Boston last week, she reminded Carrie that she knew of a particular backyard of a house that is for sale and doesn't have occupants in it that had some blackberries which needed to fulfill their destiny of becoming jam.  Once she added the "free laundry at my house" enticement, Carrie decided to come up for a visit even though it would mean that we had about a 50 hour break from one another which sometimes pushes the bff-ness a bit.  Example:  K says to C "you should really drink more water, that's why you get headaches all the time."  C replies: "I don't get headaches all the time, just when I'm around you".  [B-Zanga!!]
Carrie arrived on Friday evening and heard about Kristina's grand plans of finishing mowing the lawn, having friends over for dinner, finishing her porch windows, painting the rest of the porch and making jam - all between that evening and Monday morning.  Carrie made a great pitch to start with jam so Saturday morning after breakfast we checked out fruit opportunities at the local farmer's market (as there were no farms in the area that had what we were looking for and the result at the market was nil fyi unless we wanted the beautiful tomato fruit).  We then headed toward the free organic wild blackberries.  Here's our haul:

We picked roughly 12 pints of berries.  Feeling energized, we picked up a few more jars, lined them up and started to plan out what we were going to make.  I should have been concerned when Carrie pulled this out for consultation:

We decided to take stock of the jars we had to help us figure out what to make.  Here's what we had to fill:

Our first two batches were blackberrry jam.  We then branched out and using some leftover berries from last year made peach, blackberry, raspberry jam.  After that we decided to ease off on the blackberries and made peach pear ginger jam.  Finally, we thought we'd tackle the box of crabapples (which technically may or may not be considered wild.  If you saw the tree in my backyard you'd probably say "wild" or simply, "messed up").  Here's what we had to work with:

We thought that we'd need a whole bunch of crabapples but it turns out that we needed around five or six to make a crabapple blackberry jam / compote.  We're going to try and whip up a crabapple compote tomorrow before Carrie goes back to Boston but after two days / 12 hours of solid jam making, I think we aren't going to be making major batches (oh, there's also 2 cups of blackberries left too).  As of right now we have 74 jars of jam (a mix of 8 and 4 oz jars) and close to four dozen more jars to fill.  Here's a closing foto to see some of the end product - the crabapple blackberry is the one without the label.

FYI if someone tells you that your eyeglasses are dirty about five times and finally says "do you want me to clean those for you," it might be a good idea to clean them.  I'm thinking about how pear sage honey jam would taste (I have a lot of sage in my garden) and I think Carrie is just ready to get some sleep.  Yes, the kitchen is clean and ready to go and we're planning on having eggs, bacon [believe it or not pals, I'm actually eating and cooking this stuff once in a while even though the cooking smells turns my tum-tum a bit] and cheese biscuits to give us the energy to keep jamming tomorrow. 

ta-ta, toodle-oo, poopied-poo, jammiedy-jam-jam-in-your-jams to you! 

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