Time to Jam!

Saturday mid-day we headed out to Rowell Brother’s to pick berries. We really were initially after blueberries – which we did get. They got frozen within hours of being picked and have been used quite a few times since then with wonderful results. (The blueberry muffins Sunday morning were a big hit!)

Same day we also picked 18 pounds of Boysenberries. (The boys insist their real name is POISONberries – and that spies use them to battle the enemy as needed!) We ended up needing to head out of the house Saturday evening unexpectedly so the berries went onto sheet pans and into the fridge. I was sure I’d get to getting them processed into jam Sunday afternoon.

Nope. Didn’t happen. On the sheet pans in the fridge they remained. Monday, I’d certainly get them done!

Yeah, not. Too much going on. Tuesday, for sure! Of course, I knew we’d be at OMSI with my niece and nephew – but I thought, we won’t be there too late, I can do jam once we get home.

You know what? The best laid plans often get thrown to the wind! LOL! BUT, after dinner Tuesday – with a team effort, we got it done!

Here my lovely assistant pours 4 cups of washed boysenberries into the pot.

She’s got a gift that girl – give her a potato masher and a pot of berries and she can really get the show on the road!
“That’s a lot of sugar, Aunt Dina!” Yep, sure is! 7 cups of sugar go in, and then we heat and stir.

Yep – that’s two batches we got going there. It’s amazing how many batches you can get done in one evening if you keep the batches going! I also learned years ago that if you throw a little butter into the heating berry/sugar mixture, that the foam will be greatly reduced after the boiling stage. Very effective.
This is just after it has reached the boiling point, we’ve added the pectin, and it’s boiled for a minute and been removed from the heat.

Now the fun part – getting jam into jars!

Two important notes… I would never ladle jam into jars ever again without having a flexible plastic cutting board beneath the jars and between the stove and the counter. They’re wonderful things, those little cutting boards! AND, I simply cannot believe I had never broken down and purchased a magnetic lid lifter prior to this. All of those years burning my poor little fingers – I love the lid lifter!
And here you are – completed boysenberry jam. Yay! 34 pints and 1 half-pint from 18 pounds of boysenberries that were picked on Saturday. I worried that the berries sitting around for those couple of days might diminish the quality of the jam. Quite to the contrary – we tested the finished product and it was fabulous.

I can’t recommend the Tri County Farm website enough. If you’re in the Portland area and looking for a u-pick locale – this is the web site to check out! If you’re in the Portland area and not doing some u-picking of some kind, then why the heck not?! Okay – I know, not everyone gets into it – but wow – we are so blessed with so many great resources here in the lovely Pacific Northwest. If you’ve hesitated because you didn’t know where to find a place – here’s your chance!


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