They’re starting to turn red.
Plump and ripe.
Full of surprises.
I can’t wait.
Speaking of surprises, this plant (shown above) definitely surprised me. I had never seen or expected these blossoms. So, since you’re all so clever, how about you tell me what you think they are? Everyone who comments with a guess will be entered to win something fun from my stash–this is impromptu so I don’t know exactly what the prize is yet, but it will be of the fabricy variety. So tell me! Do you know what this plant is?
Good luck, and here’s to hoping you have beautiful ripening things in your gardens, too.
Remember how I said I was going to have too many raspberries? The time has come. In fact, I think there are still some out on the bushes now, probably drying up. Honestly, I picked as many as I could without evaporating. It’s HOT out there.
Anyway, I got a LOT.
And I had just learned how to make freezer jam from a house party my sister threw. It was easy. And yummy.
So easy in fact, that I decided it would be the perfect “activity” for my kids to do.
Turns out making freezer jam utilizes several skills that come quite naturally to three-year-olds.
Mashing things, for example.
Stirring something for only 3 minutes. (Even they have that long of an attention span).
Sneaking tastes on the side.
And smearing it on any piece of bread that will stand still long enough. Even if it is a hot dog bun.
And all I had to do was pour it in the jars.
They even put the lids on and took them out to the freezer for me. (This was one of several batches.)
Raspberry Freezer Jam
2 T Ball Realfruit instant pectin
2/3 cups sugar
1 2/3 cups mashed raspberries
Mix the sugar and pectin thoroughly.
Add in the mashed berries.
Stir for 3 minutes.
Put in clean jars.
Put the lid on.
Doesn’t get easier.
There’s something about bottling your own food that is just so incredible to me.
I mean, I understand why it works, and the science behind it all, but it still continues to amaze me that I can put in a day’s work in the early fall, and have home grown peaches in the middle of January. Or fresh salsa in February. Applesauce in March.
You get the idea.
So, each year about this time, I start collecting my gear from the downstairs storage room, and begin planning what I will “can.”
This year? Peaches, applesauce, salsa, pears, and spaghetti sauce. Not pickles. Probably never pickles ever again.
I tried doing pickles once. It was epic. I had boxes and boxes of cucumbers from our co-op garden, and I was SO ambitious. I was determined to make the best pickles any of us had ever tasted. They turned out so badly that I don’t even want to attempt smelling pickling spice for fear of severe nausea. Some spoiled entirely. Others, smelled delicious but were so mushy it was horrible. Every one of our 20+ quarts had something tragically wrong. Sweet Jacob tried to work his way through them, only throwing away the very worst, but even he was relieved when I’d had enough and dumped every single bottle down the garbage disposal.
Like I said. I will probably never do pickles again.
It still bothers me that I failed so badly at them when all my other canning exploits have gone rather well.
Maybe I’ll try them another time.
Anyway, back to what I WILL be doing this year. I started peaches today. Just sliced, nothing fancy. Salsa and spaghetti sauce next week. Pears after that. Applesauce last, of course. That’s when I can get several boxes of the best apples.
It feels so good to know that my kids are eating apples from farms right here in our little city. Tomatoes from our own backyard.
I just love canning. Incredible, I tell you.