Monday, August 24, 2015

Last of the summer....

I would love to claim that I spent the weekend out picking berries in the sun, but no. Thes closest berry farm is about 2 hours away and we had other commitments this weekend. That said I did have a lot of berries on my hands this weekend, why? Health efforts and health scares.

Last post I wrote about these healthy crackers. They are part of a number of different healthy changes. One of which was introducing more smoothies into my diet. This is not the first time I've started a habit of drinking smoothies and Every time I do there's another outbreak of hepatitis in frozen berries. I have so so much sympathy for those that have contracted hepatitis from frozen berries because it is deeply, deeply unfair. Each and every time I start drinking smoothies, it is due to a renewed desire to be more healthy. If, like me, those that have been affected by these outbreaks were drinking smoothies in an effort to be more healthy just to get hit by an illness that may affect them for the rest of their lives, well that is just plain unfair! So this is my way of saying to you - boil all your store-bought berries for at least a minute before eating!!

For smoothies,  I now buy fresh berries and freeze them myself. Expensive? yes, but worth it! However now I have a whole lot of berries that I can't use for smoothies. So what do you do with all these?


You guess it??! Jam!

I've made lot of jam before but always the quick kind that needs to be used within a month or two. However, with this many berries it's necessary to make something that is a little more long-lasting! So this time we will be preserving.

The jars need to be sterilized fully before putting the jam in, particularly as it needs to last a few months. To sterilize them, I washed them well with soap and water before putting them in an oven, that was brought up to 225'C/437'F, and heating them for 20 minutes. Put the lids in boiling water

Triple Berry Jam

1400g Berries (Blueberries, raspberries and strawberries)
1200g Jam sugar
Juice and rind of 2 lemons
1 tsp vanilla extract

1 - Mix all ingredients in a non-reactive saucepan

2 - Bring up the heat slowly until boiling, stirring constantly

3-  Continue to stire while maintaining a rolling boil

4 - Continue to boil until it reaches 105'C/220'F.

5 - Remove from the heat and let cool slightly before spooning into the jars

6 - Attach your lids, according to the instructions of the jar and let cool.

Then - and this is important - you must find multiple colourful strings. Choose two. Twirl them around the jar. Then - very important - make a homemade sign! Use the string to attach the sign and tie it off on the side! Why must you do all this?? Because it's jam and if it doesn't look pinterest worthy then what kind of baker are you???????! Oops, inner monologue, erm, please ignore that and decorate how you like!

Leave the jars 24hours to cool and then you can store them in a cool dark place for up to a year! Then enjoy them on toast with butter and love....

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