The blackberry Olympics

Sparks picked more than two gallons of blackberries last week, in preparation for my parents’ visit this weekend. My mother had specifically requested blackberry jam and a blackberry Rough & Ready pie; Sparks has a source of nice crabapples and wanted to make blackberry-crabapple jelly as well as some plain crabapple jelly.

On Saturday morning, the marathon began.

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Blackberries were cooked and put through a food mill to remove most of the seeds, turning them from the above,

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Into this–nice smooth blackberry pulp.

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Then they followed the instructions on the Sure-Jell packet and made jam. Sparks was interested in trying to make jam the old-fashioned way, without added pectin, but my mother says that the Sure-Jell makes it gel with less cooking, which leads to a better-tasting product. We’re all about better-tasting.

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Next up were the crabapples… seventeen pounds of them. Only five pounds were used in making a batch of crabapple jelly. Now this almost certainly would have jelled by itself–it was congealing in the pot they added sugar–but they added Sure-Jell anyway just to be sure, and the result was nice and firm (but not too firm).

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Also a delicious pink color. My parents were skeptical about the flavor of the jelly, but the proof was in the eating and everyone likes it a lot.

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The pie was my jurisdiction. I used my Rough & Ready recipe, and decorated the top with flowers and a cat.

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Pudding approved.

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2 thoughts on “The blackberry Olympics

  1. *Sigh* If my blog isn’t full of posts about my garden and canning and preserving next year I’m going to cry. I’m loving your garden posts.

  2. There’s one piece of advice I wish someone had given me… break the sod this fall. The roots will have a chance to rot a little over the winter, and the soil will be so much nicer in the spring. How is the growing season up there?

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