Blackberries

Blackberries are a common sight in our region of the country.

They make wonderful jams, jellies, cobblers, muffins, pancakes, and pies.

A close watch is always kept on the berry plants while waiting for them to ripen and get ready for picking. Buckets are gathered and kept on standby in anticipation of the long awaited day.

I remember one berry picking trip that ultimately landed me in the hospital emergency room with an allergic reaction. I learned quickly to wash the berries before eating them since you never know what chemicals may have been sprayed on them.

We walk along the fence rows, in the edge of the fields and woods, around the family ponds, and everywhere we think we will find the berries to gather enough to use in canning. 

There is at least one snake scare each year. Although it's usually an overactive imagination. 

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Blackberry Jam

2 quarts fresh berries - washed and crushed

1/2 cup water

6 cups sugar

Add water to berries and cook until heated thoroughly. Add sugar and cook until thick. Stir often to prevent sticking.

Pour into sterilized jelly jars and seal with hot paraffin.

This process can be used with raspberries, gooseberries, loganberries or dewberries.

Sterilize the jars:

Thoroughly wash and rinse the jars that will be used in canning. Place in a large pot and completely cover with water at least 2 inches over the top of the jars. Boil the jars on medium heat for 2-3 minutes to sterilize the jars. remove from water and place upside down on clean wire rack to drain water until needed.

Paraffin:

Paraffin is heated over medium low heat to melt and a 1/4 inch layer is poured over the fruit after it is placed in the jars.

Jar lids:

Place the lids in a small pot and cover with water. Heat on the stove over medium low heat. Keep lids hot until ready to place on jars.


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