Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Mother Nature's Jewels

Black Raspberry and Strawberry

There is nothing quite like warm toast in the morning with a good slather of homemade jam on it while the snow is flying outside.  You sit there, feet cold, gobbling it up remember the blistering hot day you and your daughter went berry picking.  And although you were exhausted from the heat, you persevered (because you have modern day central air) and mixed up 2 batches of homemade freezer jam. 

I make jam in the summer so I can remember summer in the winter.  Plus, I just think it tastes better than the store-bought variety.  (Sorry to the good folks at Smucker's.)  I cheat a little and make freezer jam.  It's just a whole lot quicker and easier than the cooked long as the electric doesn't go out for any great length of time.

I took a 4-H project as a kid called "Preserve and Serve."  I must have made every kind of jam or jelly known to man that summer.  I recall picking some red currants at my grandmother's house and making that into jelly.  I'm telling you.  There is not enough sugar in the world to sweeten up red currants.  S-O-U-R!

Many have hear the story of the summer I was pregnant with Owen.  He was born July 5th and it was on Evan's birthday (June 17th) that I took Evan and Jenna strawberry picking.  It was a beautiful day and the kids were great, picking and helping.  (It was back when they listened to me and got along with each other.)  Anyway, we picked a whole bunch of strawberries and I did pretty good for as big as I was and being very close to having a baby.  I made two batches of strawberry freezer jam that night with the better share of those berries.  And, in case you don't know, you mix up the jam, put it in the jars and then let it sit out (on the counter or wherever) for 24 hours.'s a very important step in making FREEZER JAM.  You put it in the freezer.  Makes sense.  Right?!  Well, I'm still claiming pregnancy head.  About a week later, I'm having a conversation with my Mom and I don't even recall how it went.  But, all I do remember is that it was then and there that I realized, I had not put the jars of jam...all 20 of the freezer.  Too much time had passed and I had to throw it all out...down the disposal...jar after jar after jar.  I think I might have even cried.  In fact, I am sure I cried.  Pregnancy hormones and all.  My Mom had made her share of jam that summer too and she kept us well fortified with strawberry jam all winter long.  Thanks again Mom.  Our toast just wouldn't have tasted the same.
28 Jars...All Tucked in Safely in the Freezer!

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