Every dog has his day
Every dark cloud has a silver lining
Every early bird catches the worm
Every Canadian has health coverage
And every boy should have a jar of jam (and a spoon).
That’s the way I was brought up and the way I live my life*. I’m not going to wax lyrical about the art of canning or preserving but I will go on record saying that that making your own jams, jellies and preserves, even chutneys, will forever change you. I never knew how a batch of seasonal fruit along with a lot of sugar and a squeeze of lemon juice could taste so good until I tasted homemade jam. Not too long ago I tasted the best jam I have ever smuckered (strawberry with aged balsamic vinegar & cracked black pepper) and it was a spiritual if not diabetic inducing experience. I'd like to thank Liz for introducing me to home made jams and to Jim for the delicious bottle of wine that was consumed post jam feasting. For those who love jam, especially blackberry jam, I encourage you to find a good patch of blackberry bushes and bring them home to simmer in a vat of sugar and love.
There are plenty of bloggers who can share their experience of canning much better than I ever could, so seek them out and learn to master the ways of the mason jar.
Makes 6 to 7 8 oz jars
- 4 pounds blackberries
- 2 pounds sugar
- juice of 1 1/2 lemons (Meyer if you have them)
- Cook the blackberries gently until soft, about 30 minutes. Remove about half of the mixture and using a food mill or a mesh strainer, remove some or all of the seeds (based on your preference) and discard.
- Return the deseeded berry puree to the pot, add sugar and lemon juice and simmer about 40 min. until it sets.
- Process in a hot water canner for 15 minutes.
* I was never given a jar of jam as a young lad. Our family was so poor we only had jars of gravel to savor.