A few weeks ago, I picked blackberries at a local farmer's patch. I spent several hours there and picked about two gallons. The berries were just beginning to ripen and I had to work pretty hard to find them ...
but it was certainly worth it! I brought them home and froze them and today, I thawed some to make jam. I love making jellies and jams because it reminds me of my mom and all the canning she used to do. My dad grew a huge garden and Mother was expected to can or freeze as much as she could. I don't think she enjoyed it the way I do, though, because for her it was a necessity and for me, it's just a hobby.
Several weeks ago, I found this sieve in an antique shop in Mineola.
My mother had one just like it, so I had to buy it. I used it today and it worked great! I was able to make my jam without all the seeds. I made sixteen jars and next week I plan on making blueberry and peach.
I guess to some, it's strange that I would make something that I can buy so cheaply at the store. I think that besides the fact that it reminds me of my childhood, I enjoy knowing that I can be a little self-sufficient. I mean, I didn't grow the berries, but at least I know what to do with them. I'm trying to pass that on to my grandson. Next week, I'll be taking him to Edom, Texas for our annual blueberry picking trip. I love watching him carry his little basket and pick those tiny berries. Hopefully, our trip will give him some great memories and more importantly, the experience of working to provide his own food, because a little pioneer spirit just might be good for us all!