OMG I think I made jam. Real JAM. I would have taken more pictures except I was too in awe of my own self (and/or too busy comparing self favorably to Caroline Ingalls) to operate a camera.
FIRST, I picked black raspberries until my poor arms and legs were scratched/bitten to the dickens.
THEN, I froze those berries in single layers on cookie sheets before transferring them to freezer ziploc bags.
THEN, I thawed MORE BERRIES THAN I COULD POSSIBLY NEED: 7.5 cups, for a recipe that called for 4 cups of mashed berries.
THEN, I used my late mother-in-law's applesauce-straining system (it is a metal sieve thing, plus a stand for the sieve thing, and a wooden thing to squoosh the fruit through the sieve thing) to remove some of the seeds from the berries.
THEN, I discovered that 7.5 cups berries made 3.5 cups berry mash plus .5 cups seeds.
THEN, I thawed another salad-plateful of berries, which made up the other .5 cup of mashed (without any seed-removal measures taken).
THEN, I stirred some freezer-jam fruit pectin into 1.5 cups of sugar, and then added my finally-4-cups of mashed berries.
THEN, I stirred for 3 minutes.
THEN, I put that stuff into 5 plastic 8-ounce freezer-jam containers.
THEN, I waited 30 minutes.
THEN, I transferred the containers to the freezer, and put the remaining stuff in another container for the fridge.
THEN: JAM, BABY, OH YEAH. And it only took $4.50 of containers plus $3.00 of pectin plus $scratches plus $time, and you know what? Jam is only like $2-$3 jar at the store.
(But still! JAM!! From BERRIES that GROW in my YARD!)
(Plus, I can reuse the containers.)
Life-improving products, part 4 - (Continued from part 1, part 2, and part 3.) Stearns Youth Life Vest (photo from Amazon.com). I’d been too scared to take the kids to any body of water oth...