Saturday, June 23, 2007

We Be Jammin'!

If you've been wondering where I have been these past couple of days, I'll tell you now. As soon as I put the girls to bed, I run to the kitchen and smash berries, squeeze every last drop out of 'em, boil the juice, add sugar and boil it some more. I pour hot liquid into hot jars and boil the entire jar and its' contents some more! And Voila! Mulberry Jam is born!! We be jammin'!! We be sweatin'!! In a hot kitchen!! We be jammin'!! Not quite done with the mulberries yet.. I'll finish the rest of the mulberries tonight and then the next canning project will be raspberry jam. Raspberry bushes are turning pink and will probably be ripe in the next couple of days.

I wait until the girls go to bed, because I attempted to make it in the morning while Hubby was supposed to amuse the kids. The girls were more interested in what I was doing instead of what Daddy was doing. Let me tell you, smashing berries is the fun part, but I don't let the girls do it because the juice stains the counter tops and I want minimal stains on my already ugly 70's lime green faux marbled Formica counter top. Berry juice splatter might actually make the counter top look prettier, but... (Future home improvement project: new counter tops and cabinets) Then after the berries are smashed, I put them into cheesecloth and SQUEEEEZE. I have forearms the size of Popeye's now with all the squeezing I did. If you are in a pissy mood, this is a good workout for you. You can imagine you are wringing your spiteful boss' neck or Miss Uppity neighbor with the spoiled brat kid that gets on your last nerve. You could also boil the smashed berries and then let them d r i p, d r i p, d r i p slowly, but I have no patience for that. Frankly, I have no time for that, unless I want to be making jam in the wee hours of the night and I value my sleep more, thank you very much.

Once you have the juice, the rest of the work goes by much faster. I tend to spend one night smashing and squeezing and then the next night making the jam. Tonight is berry smashing night.

What's that you say? That's a lot of jam and I am making more?? Oh, well if you have 3 little ones that like peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and toast with jam (cue music-- Tea, a drink with jam and bread, jam and bread, jam and bread. Doe, a deer, a female deer....)just about every other day, the jam goes fast! Plus I like to give some as gifts and who doesn't like homemade jams?? That's all the time I have now. It's time for the girls to go to bed and time for me to get out some of my pent-up frustrations.


Krissie said...

Send me a jar, will you? lol

DJ Kirkby said...

I loved home preserving, well I loved it when I was doen and could sit back and have a cool drink and admire the jewel like look of the filled jars! I have a great reciopie for dill pickles, yum. I dont do any over in England 'cos I just can't find any Mason jars! I loved this post,you are a good woman.

jenny said...

K-- It's delicious stuff! We are eating the last few from last year's batch.

Dj-- What?!? No mason jars in England?? They dont encourage canning your own food? I'm not a pickle person, but I make pickles for Hubby and for gifts. I've been told they're yummy. I feel the same as you, I love looking at the jars filled with shiny red tomatoes, lovely green pickles, happy yellow corn relish and deep purple jams.

thank you both for coming by!

lady macleod said...

what an interesting alternative to the spa and a steam. And at the end YOU have Jam! Brilliant.

Q's favorite is Raspberry. You can never have too much jam.

when i get "pissy" i pull out the boxing gloves and smash up bag and dummy; but your way sounds yummier at the end.

Mr Farty said...

My mum used to make stawberry jam, in a great big pan. Took blooming ages to come to the boil, and there was lots of sugar involved. And some kind of setting agent.

The best bit was when she let us lick the spoon. Thanks for bringing back happy memories.

The Critic said...

It's that simple to make jam? you don't add any thing to make it thicker other than sugar and boiling it?

If you can share some recipes, that would be nice

jenny said...

Lady M-- Well I sure DO feel better after a work-out of smashing and squeezing berries! And you are absolutely right, I get to have a tasty reward when I am done! I am a fan of Raspberry myself, but the Mulberries are a close second! If you are ever in the area, you are most welcome to stop in for some tea with jam and bread!

Mr Farty-- That's my girls' favorite bit, too. Except they dont wait for me to finish-- they dip a spoon in there while I'm still making it!!

Critic-- I'll be happy to post a step by step of the next batch of jam I make. Stay tuned!!

wakeupandsmellthecoffee said...

I've made blackcurrant jam, but I hate all the fiddly topping and tailing. DJ, you don't need Mason jars to make jam. You can find other jars at hardware stores or use old jars. Keep looking.

Lindystar said...

Mulberry? And berry smashin and cheese cloth?? OMG I can picture my mom doing the same thing in my head right now. I used to LOVE watching her do the smashing thing with this big metal cone shaped thing with holes in it and a big wood smasher thing.

Anyways thanx for the memory burst. :) My mom let me help with the cheese cloth squeeze thing but I kinda sucked at it. And made a mess. And stained the counter top.

So yeah, good call on that one. :)

Elsie Button said...

i love coming to your blog to see what delights you have been up to! and you never disapoint!

Drunk Mummy said...

I love the idea of 'Jam Therapy'- all that bashing and squeezing, and then you get to stuff your face with it. Fantastic!

jenny said...

Coffee-- black currant is yummy! Thanks for coming by!

Lindy-- You're welcome! I dont use the metal strainer thingy.. just a regular colander and a potato masher. It does the trick! My mom never canned, so I dont know where I get this from... it is just something I like to do!

Elsie-- I am glad I can please you! DO come back!

Drunk-- I bet you'd like wine-making better!! :o)

DJ Kirkby said...

nope, no Mason jars and yet I remember hardware stores full of them from now till end Oct back home. *sob* feel homesick.

Dana said...

I remember growing up making mustang grape jelly every year. I would love to find a mustang grape vine somewhere around here!

heike said...

YUM! Here, we seem to have "skinny" mulberry trees. There is one at the organic farm we work at once a week, and I swear my kids graze it until it is empty....and they are blue. I am jealous.