Jan 14, 2009

Joyous Jelly Day!!

Finally, I get to make jelly from my own home grown, completely organic, fruit.
While this may not seem monumental to most, and I do agree that the sun would rise tomorrow with me never having made my own jelly. However, with my frugal nature, this is epic.

So the story actually begins back three or four years ago when I found a Black Raspberry stick for sale at a discount store...I cannot remember for the life of me what store so I wont dwell. This was to be a companion for my already fairly established Golden Raspberry. I don't think I paid more than five dollars for it, and since it literally was just a few sticks, I crossed my fingers and hoped for the best. The first year I was just happy it lived. The second I pretty much forgot about it, and the third we got a handful of berries and I was completely happy with even that.
Then Spring 2008 rolled around...the vines kicked into high gear and went crazy sprawling this way and that, and to my surprise the Black Raspberries decided that they would be more than just pricker bushes, and would actually go forth and prosper. And prosper is exactly what they did. From around the last few days of June thru the first week or two of July, every other morning, I was able to pick two cereal bowls full of berries. One bowl was for eating and the other went directly into the freezer for when the Winter blahs hit. Of course several bowl-fulls went to the little(and not so little) kids in my life, and a pint or two was savored at my Mom's 4th of July lunch. Up until now the remainder has slumbered in the deep freeze waiting.....

Well time goes by. July faded into August, and on to September. Then before you know it,I was looking at November and December. The frosty weather brought about the perfect conditions for cooking up those lovely berries. However with the hustle of the Winter Holidays, I was unable to turn my lovely mix of delicate gold and deep black berries into the jelly that I longed for and they were destined to become.

Until today.

Today is the start of some of the coldest weather yet to visit my area. So what better way to heat up my home a bit than to boil up some jelly. And boy, did I boil. Now, you would not believe how heady an aroma comes form one little pot of bubbling berries. The aroma of warm raspberries alone is reason enough to cook up a pot of jelly. Unfortunately for me, I only had enough fruit to make one batch, but it looks so good it brings a smile to my face and a growl in my belly. I took pictures, but of course I didn't think of taking pictures until the jars were already filled and processing in the Water Bath. So hopefully this coming season will see as plentiful a harvest so I can photograph all of the steamy fragrant steps to jelly joy.

Here is a picture of the berries starting to ripen last Summer:

I was told that they look like Cap'n Crunch Berries

The leftover pulp, right before it hit the compost:

Some empty jars just waiting for their turn to be filled:

Everybody is in the Bath...Five more minutes and they can come out:

All lined up waiting to be enjoyed:


Rosemary said...

Your jam looks yummy.
I too am looking forward to spring, tho not the heat of July and August , still it has been so cold and snowy this winter I will try to not whine come the humidity of summer.:-)

Campo Girls & Hoes said...

Hola, I wanted to stop by and comment as we met on mybloglog, looked at your images too and the jam looks great, my stomach even rumbled! LOL

I have a raspberry and blackberry bush but they are not doing anything at the moment, I have them growing up the fence because I want coverage there.

Great to meet you and do stop by our forum one day if you like :)

Simone and Gina

Donna said...

Hi all,
Thanks for stopping by. And thanks for the nice words. The jelly turned out pretty tasty...I was suprised at how true it is to the taste of raspberries. Store bought has nothing on home made lol. I made a few loaves of Honey Wheatberry bread a few days later and my son finished an entire jar of jelly along with a loaf...and he doesnt even like jelly.

Simone and Gina- if your berries start giving you some fruit, definitely try some jelly. It is worth it for the wonderful aroma alone :-)