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Tuesday, September 8, 2009

We're Jammin'

Look at this! It is a Berry Patch a Cabbage Patch Kid, only cuter!Although it is a little late in the season, Dave and I were able to pick about 3 gallons of wild black berries on Saturday near the Gualala River. Dave has access to some logging roads behind locked gates; normally there are tons of berries out there since so few people get there. But this year an excavator had gone down the road and ripped up most of the vines we normally have access to. Oh well. It took a while but we got enough to make lots of jam.

Picking berries was so much fun! It was just our little family of 5 (3 humans, 2 dogs) out in the middle of nowhere with only each other for company. It was nice. Eddie and I found a monitoring well to sit on for his feeding session and diaper change. Other than that he was in the stroller the whole time and didn't seem to mind at all.

I wore a pair of Dave's jeans (with the top rolled over so they'd stay up) and one of his grubby shirts over my tank top so I wouldn't have to worry about staining my clothes. After the berry picking we stopped at the grocery store for some dinner supplies. I took off the grubby shirt since it was about 10 sizes too big. It wasn't until we got home that I realized I had my tank top on backwards all day--the back (which was really the front) was so low that you could see the top of the back of my bra! I must have been quite a sight with that shirt and Dave's big pants on...
Dave's mom wanted to get rid of all the berries in her freezer first so we used defrosted berries instead of our fresh ones. She also gave us boysenberries. It turns out Dave ended up making all the jam because I was busy feeding Eddie (and getting all flustered when he kept spitting up what seemed like ALL of his milk). He did a good job, if not a messy one. =)We ended up with 18 pints so far--2/3 of which is normal, high-sugar type and the rest is 100% fruit. The pectin you use for the low- or no-sugar variety is super expensive for the amount of resulting jam. I keep meaning to order a sack of bulk pectin online but never get around to it. It is SO much cheaper that way.The remaining fresh blackberries and the defrosted boysenberries will either become more jam (if we can find some cheap pectin) or syrup for ice cream to turning into fruit leather.


steph.kelley said...

Oh, how I miss going to Brentwood or Joan's Farm to pick berries that Mama made into jam. We picked ollalaberries at Joan's, and that was the only time that Mom ever made jam or pies of any sort. :) Go J-D-E go! what fun.

mu rye uh said...

yummy! In utah it is totally cheaper