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"The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing." - Walt Disney
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Sunday, September 18, 2011

Add sugar, and stir... a lot

Grandma's are the best. Enough said.

Last Saturday, September 10th, my grandma and I made homemade blackberry jam together. I love days like this where I get to spend time with her. A while back my mother told me something my grandma told her about me, "I really enjoy cooking with her". I knew my grandma loved me, like all grandmother's love their grandchildren, but that just made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. My grandma also told me that it would be sad for me to move out, because she looks forward to cooking dinner with me in the evenings.

Well on this particular morning, I woke up and went to my grandma's house- she lives right next door to us on a 20 acre farm. We were going to make jam together like we had planned the night before, and she had already started without me... like she usually does. My grandma always makes me feel so lazy! She will tell me what time we're going to start doing something in the morning, say 8 o'clock, and I will get to her house at 8 and she will already have been up for an hour or so and started without me! Making jam is relatively easy to do, but it's not a sit and wait sort of thing. Especially when you pick your own fruit to go in it!

Ingredients:
  • 5 Cups Crushed Blackberries
  • 7 Cups Sugar
  • Fruit Pectin (Sure Jell)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Butter/Margarine
Preparation:
  • Wash all jars and lids.
  • Crush the berries (potato mashers work well). Sieve 1/2 of the pulp to remove some of the seeds (if desired).
  • Place flat part of lids into pot of water, and keep hot on the stove.
Directions:

STIR!
  1. Put blackberries in a large pot, set stove on high. Start stirring!
  2. Stir pectin into the fruit.
  3. Add butter/margarine (to reduce foaming).
  4. Continue stirring until mixture is at full rolling boil.
  5. Stir in sugar "quickly".
  6. Bring to rolling boil once again and boil for 1 minute (whilst stirring). Once it gets to a rolling boil, you may turn off the heat as it tends to splash more, and will burn you. Doing this will reduce splatter. You are finished stirring!
  7. Take pot off heat and scrape off any foam.
  8. Use ladle to fill jars with jam. Fill almost all the way to the top because it will "shrink".
  9. Wipe jar rims and threads. Use tongs to remove lids from hot water and cover the jars. Screw bands on tightly!
  10. Let settle upside-down on a flat surface. 
You just made jam! This recipe will make about 9 cups of jam, so make sure you have enough jars if you're going to attempt. My grandma never likes to do anything small, so we did 4 or 5 batches. Made around 20-30 jars full (all different sizes). It's best to do it with someone to help, that way while you're stirring they can get other things ready (:
before boiling Stirring A jar not filled all the way Grandma stirring Lots of sugar sugar and butter heating the lids
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