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.