This weekend was all about the berries. Yesterday, Fred picked about 8 pounds of blueberries at Terhune Orchards, and I joined him later for an attempt at raspberries and blackberries. Bad news about the raspberries: they are almost gone. Ripe blackberries weren't much easier to find, but there were still plenty of red unripe berries waiting for later this week.
Today I made the blueberry and blueberry-lime jam. This isn't hard work, but the rinsing and stemming of all those little berries can get tedious. My blueberry-lime recipe (from the Ball Blue Book) requires 4 1/2 cups of berries, and the plain blueberry jam needs 8 cups. That's a lot of berries. Once they are prepared, the work goes quickly and steamily. The jam takes about 10-15 minutes to cook, and then is ladled into sterilized (via the dishwasher) jars. Lids and bands (the screw-on part) are also sterilized and waiting for me to the left. To the right, on the other front burner, is a pot of boiling water waiting to vacuum-seal the jars in the special rack under water. After 15 minutes the jars come out and cool on towels for at least a day. I made about thirteen 8-ounce jars today, and together with the strawberry and strawberry-banana jam from June I should have enough for Christmas gifts. Usually by peach season I'm all jammed-out. I rarely make peach jam. Or tomatoes. Maybe this year.