I want to have a "splended" good time!
Aug. 30, 2009 12:13 pm
Updated: Aug. 30, 2009 11:37 pm
I could not be prouder of myself if I tried..I MADE JELLY!!!!! Now no laughing please, it may be a small step, but it is one more thing I get to check off my food adventure list!!! I have you fellow canners
out there to thank, because I wouldn't have attempted to can anything before I read your blogs!!!
So, I set off yesterday on a mission. I grabbed a girlfriend and one of my boys. We set out armored with rubber gloves and buckets our neighbor graciously offered (ok, so I bribed him with some jelly if it turned out..). Off we went to find some big juicy blackberries. Now, here in Washington, most people pay an arm and a leg to have the bushes removed. Once they start growing they take over everything!
But lucky for us, the city we live in doesn't spray the bushes to keep pesticides out of the water. They cut them back instead. This produces big FAT berries that everyone enjoys eating.
Long story short...we only had to walk a block and after an hour, we had plenty of blackberries to make the jelly recipe we had. Home we went to clean the berries and juice them in our juicer. It worked beautifully and was extremely easy compared to the other techniques I heard about. One major problem however...I DIDN'T HAVE ANY CANNING EQUIPMENT! What you say?!?! You heard me right. LOL!
Let me explain. I was on my way to grab an espresso (Washington remember?)...when I saw a couple picking berries. A light went on in my head. I should do that too! I'm impulsive..Hmmm....maybe obsessive...anyway....that is how we ended up on this adventure.
My dear husband was sent on a mission to find me jelly jars, a canner, lids, rings, ect. He gave me the normal "yes dear" sigh and off he went while we finished juicing the berries. We were so excited that he didn't even put up a fight! Well, maybe it was the bribe with food. Either way, he came home with everything we asked for.
It is a darn good thing I have my Grandma on speed dial. That lovely woman has been canning tomatoes all week so I knew she could help me out. She walked me through the whole process over the phone, answering all my dumb questions. I could hear her giggling to herself...probably wondering what I had got myself into. I finally called her for the last time to tell her the jelly was done and all my jars had "popped"....it was almost 11pm. I love that lady!
So it is the next morning and my three boys are out picking more berries as I write this blog. I'm hooked. We all had some jelly this morning on an English muffin. I am so darned proud. Apparently my kids like the jelly too because they didn't even complain about picking more. In fact, my oldest said to me "Hey Mom...you know, my girlfriend has raspberry bushes in her yard...".
All is well in jelly town. One question to end this though. Does anyone know if I can swap out the five cups of sugar called for with Splenda??? Let me know. Maybe I'll send my son over to his girlfriends house, you know, you can never have too many berries.....