We're experiencing a little heat wave here, probably the same heat wave affecting many of you this week. Our access to the water and sweet relief is one of my favorite things about this place that we love, but sometimes, escape is not an option and things just have to get done. While the heat began to register, we were faced with a bigger freezer situation this weekend... it's packed... with berries... and more berries. Some jam needed to be made. Our mixed berry jam is a favorite of those that wind up with some at the holidays, it has even been requested (if one can call my 90 year old aunt grabbing Rob and asking him when we'll make more a request). We add strawberries, red and black raspberries and blueberries to our jam... strawberries from the crop we picked a little ways from the house, black raspberries that are around our house, and blueberries picked from Rob's mom's home. I think all that local flavor adds to its deliciousness. Anyway, because of the heat, we made the jam inside but wisely canned it outside.
Some jam making books and recipes are worried about that foam or froth that appears over the berry goodness while reducing... we're not worried by it at all, we just leave it, it disappears. Our canning has become a well practiced thing, you do have to be fast. One person (usually me) wears the oven mitt and takes the scalding hot jars that have just been filled with scalding hot jam (that's Rob's end of this gig) only to clean off the top of any spillage and fish out a scalding hot lid (all must be boiled pre-canning) and adding a band. Our assembly line is pretty set as it keeps the person without the mitt from touching anything hot and getting a nasty burn. I love this process of putting away and even more so outside... the more to remember in the coming cold months... that fresh berry taste, that beautiful day and standing on grass canning instead of three feet of snow... oh how I love this summer.