Last Saturday we thumbed our collective nose at the weather and headed to Green Meadows Farm in Monticello to pick some blueberries with the kids.
Since I am terrrrrible at plants/seasons/horticulture, I did not know that it was basically the last day of blueberry season. We still managed to collect about 10 cups of blueberries, which was plenty
for my evil plans to make jam.
The power was off-and-on most of the weekend, but by Sunday I was confident that nature would no longer thwart my jammy endeavors, so I gathered my gear (which doubles as medieval torture devices, BONUS).
I bought a very basic canning set many years ago, and it has served me well. Canning is intimidating – so much boiling water! sterilization of jars and lids! molten fruits! – but once you get the hang of it, the process is pretty straightforward. First you cook your fruit into jam, then you process the jars so it’s shelf-stable. If you’re just starting out, I recommend the Ball Blue Book, which is like the Gospel of Preservation.
Alternatively, you can just make friends with someone who cans stuff and offer to be their guinea pig. Voila.
I decided to make a blueberry basil jam, based on this recipe from Cupcake Rehab. I used 10 cups of blueberries, 6 cups of sugar, 16 basil leaves, and the juice of 3 limes. This yielded 11 cups of jam.
The jam is very tasty – it’s not too sweet, and the basil adds some flavor interest.
I’m glad I pulled out my canning set, and am looking forward to using it again this weekend after a trip to the farmer’s market. I’ve set my sights on these garlic dill pickes……