Marieta's Retirement Ramblings

Raspberry Jam

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Every time Dave said, “Our freezer has a lot of raspberries buried down in the bottom,” my response was, “That’s the reason I’m trying to use as much as possible from the freezer this winter.”

Well, lo and behold, I didn’t realize what Dave was telling me about the quantity of raspberries. Last weekend we took out all of the black raspberries with a date older than 2012, and we took out some red raspberries, also. A total of 61 pints!

To fully understand, both black and red raspberries are delicacies in our household. We raise small patches of each in our urban back yard. But we also know where to find some wild black raspberry patches. Some people know where to find morel mushrooms, well, Dave has a sixth sense for finding wild black raspberries (and our sons have inherited this ability). Dave and our now adult sons pick as many as they can find every year. I used to make jam and mass produce black raspberry pies for the freezer, but in recent years I have taken to simply freezing the berries and making pies, as needed.

About a month ago we discovered the cupboard was bare… we were completely out of jam. We don’t eat much jam, but it is always nice to have some around. It is unthinkable that I purchase jam at the store… NEVER!

Putting together 61 pints of frozen berries and the drought of jam meant last week I spent nearly every day doing some step of making jam. After the berries thawed, I rubbed them through a colander to remove many of the seeds. I washed the jars. Then, calculated how many pounds of sugar, packages of Sure Jell, and boxes of lids to purchase. Finally I was ready to stand over the stove stirring the delicate mixtures, timer primed, and watching the boiling stages to make the perfect jam. Net result: 26 pint jars and 6 half-pint jars of black raspberry, and 3 pint jars and 1 half-pint jar of red raspberry jam.

Oh, my, that jam is good on fresh bread and warm baking powder biscuits!

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