Monday, August 5, 2013

Summer Jammin'

It's SO quiet around here, now that all the family has gone. . . We loved having the house full, from a week ago Friday through to Sunday at noon. We're missing them all so much, but we're missing them in peace and quiet. . . .
and planning a little road trip of our own. . . . more on that later. . . .

Meanwhile, I've started to preserve some of summer's goodness -- it won't last forever, you know! Are any of you putting some away as well? I still go old school, using the same Certo recipe for cooked jam that I've been using for close to 40 years. . . anyone else do the same? or make freezer jam? or put up pickles?

(I see that blackberries and their jam are a recurrent theme around here. I wrote about them here and here and here and I managed to say something quite different each time -- clearly, as the literary scholar might say, were she being a bit tiresome, they're a multivalent symbol. . . )

22 comments:

  1. I love homemade jam, but sadly have never had the time or inclination to give it a rip myself. Looks yummy!! Enjoy your travels.

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    1. I was such an earnest young mom, trying to make my stay-at-home time worthwhile -- plus I grew up around those kind of very practical domestic skills. . . The blackberry jam is one of the last vestiges to survive . . .

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  2. The blackberries won't be ripe for another week or ten days here, though I saw people on the roadsides today picking berries.
    I'm feeling quietly creative today too - went beach combing at low tide this morning and picked up a sack of lovely purple mussel shells. They are all scrubbed and drying in the sun. They will be turned into a shell wreathe for son and daughter-in-law who are land-locked in Edmonton.

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    1. Ours aren't really ripe yet either, but since we have a patch so close by, I don't mind the inefficiency of starting early. We'll be away for a few days later this week, and by the time we get back, they'll have exploded!
      I love the idea of your wreath and will be keen to see photos -- maybe a tutorial even?

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  3. Our blackberries aren't ready yet and sadly as our community becomes more of a city, we lose more and more of our natural thickets. Nola has such a cute smile!

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    1. It's true, isn't it? I think of the berries we used to pick when I was young, crossing the Patullo Bridge to the wilds of Surrey (don't think there would have been many, even then, in New West'r). . . Those "wilds" will all be developed now, I suspect.

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  4. No blackberries around here yet, but I'll be making jam when they ripen. Tim wants to try and make some blackberry wine, too, but we'll see how that goes. My cucumbers went crazy while we were gone so I'm making bread and butter pickles with those. I do enjoy putting up food for the winter. Your jam looks yummy. Enjoy the peace and quiet and memories of busier days.

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    1. My parents made blackberry wine, at one point. I was too young to have sampled it, and I can't really remember much comment about it. I'll be curious to see what you find. Personally, I've never been much interested in anything that requires straining!
      There's something very satisfying about preserving food, isn't there? Jam's the only thing I still do, sadly . . .

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  5. I was such a good homemaker when my children were little. I made all our own jams, baked all our bread, baked gifts for others (as well as completing a Master's degree). Now that everyone's moved and I have more time I can't be bothered. How disgraceful is that! :-(

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    1. See my comment above, to Sue. I loved doing all that domestic stuff at the time. Now my husband bakes the bread, does the cooking, etc. But I still knit and I still make jam . . . Interesting how life cycles us 'round, isn't it?!

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  6. My daughter and I made Blackberry Jam this weekend too!! They are so ripe. Too bad they have so many thorns. My arms look like I've been in a cat fight!!

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    1. My arms are the same! I wanted to rope my daughters into making the jam with me, but the timing didn't work out -- and I only made one batch. I've since mashed up and frozen enough for the next batch. Maybe today . . .

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    1. We're already one jar done and it tastes as good as it looks, I must say. ;-)

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  8. your blog title....does it reference something ?

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    1. hmmmmm, don't understand this question. . . .sorry.

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  9. Oh, I wish I could taste some of your jam! We used to do some canning every year when my friend's peach tree was full of ripe peaches. We made a really delicious chutney. After many years, it got tedious. Last year we gave the jars to the church thrift shop.

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    1. I've always wanted to make chutney. I did make jarred antipasto for quite a few years and then experienced the same phenomenon as you and your friend. The blackberry jam is all that's remained of my preserving. . . I hope to keep it up for a few more years, but if/when we move away from this blackberry patch, that will be the end.

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  10. Here in Ireland we used to pick them and sell them to local shops.This was when we were little kids at Primary school. It was great fun and very competitive. Those few coins seemed a fortune.
    Innocent memories.

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    1. I love it! My brothers and sisters and I used to go door to door in our neighbourhood and sell the blackberries we'd picked. . . couldn't do anything like that now, of course. (when I say "used to", it may only have been once or twice but has that nostalgic sense of habit) . . . and yes, those coins seemed riches!

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  11. I'm running a Gourmet Pantry stall for Kid 2's school in 10 days so in the last couple of weeks I've made cumquat jam, BBQ sauce, quince paste, pork rillettes, pickled onions, Indian lime pickle, chilli jam, picallili, vanilla essence, vanilla sugar and lavender sugar. Only 10 more different items to make ... and that will be enough preserving for me until next year :)

    When I lived in North Yorkshire when I was young we used to go 'brambling' and make blackberry jam. Fond memories ...

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    1. If I could magically land at Kid 2's school for that stall, I'd buy up a fortune! You always amaze me with your kitchen talents and enthusiasm.
      Don't think I knew you lived in N. Yorkshire -- my dad's from Middlesborough and I still have plenty of family there, 'tho haven't been for years. . .

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I'd love to hear your response to my post. Agree, disagree, even go off on a tangent, I love to know you're out there, readers. Let's chat, shall we? I apologize, though, for the temporary necessity of the Word Verification -- spam comments have been tiresomely numerous lately, and I'm hoping to break that pattern.

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