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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Blackberries and Friendship

I spent Monday afternoon with my lovely friend Lisa at her farm home.  The farm itself is run by others, but Lisa has a huge, wonderful garden, with tomato plants nearly as tall as I am, a squash patch the size of my living room, fragrant herbs and flowers, and a blackberry bush dripping with berries and buzzing with grasshoppers.  I came over wanting to help do something, so we picked blackberries to make into jam.


Lisa had picked these berries over the course of a few previous days.  They had been frozen and thawed, and now it was time for them to cook.

I helped my mother make strawberry jam when I was younger, but it's been a while.  For jam-making, you need a canning kit, tons and tons of sugar (or at least two ten-pound bags), and canning jars that are at least two generations old, used by the lady who lived in the house before you, and other jars that were your mother and grandmother's.

You need LOTS of sugar.  But it's just plain sugar.  No preservatives.  Not even pectin.  This jam is berries and sugar.

The jars have to be sterilized, in hot water, in the biggest pot I've ever seen.

While you wait for the berries to cook down, you take pictures of other produce from the garden.
Lovely, delicious, sweet-smelling basil!!

Tomatoes that taste like sunshine

Hot peppers, a green tomato to ripen, a cucumber

Next you take a picture of your beautiful hostess stirring the berries.  And you lament that you can't stay long enough to help finish the jam.  But you both laugh about how you will have very similar blog posts about today.  (See that steam?  That's a farmgirl facial.)

But first you stir while she pours the sugar and you both take pictures with your free hands.  You laugh some more about how people will wonder how you did this.  "Does she have three hands?  One to pour, one to stir, one to take the picture?"

Berries + sugar = jam.  In about an hour.

You take berries home and eat them with homemade granola and yogurt for breakfast the next day.  You thank God for making berries and for making Lisa.


3 comments:

  1. Well. Thank you, Jaimie. You give me eyes that can see His beauty all around! I love that we both have such a detailed record of this amazing day!

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  2. yum. yum. yum. i LOVE blackberries!! your jam looks pretty delish too!

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  3. Well, Lisa said the jam turned out great, I haven't gotten to taste it yet! I'm really enjoying the berries :) Blackberry pancakes for breakfast tomorrow, perhaps?

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