Welcome to the CRAFT-y Corner of my Web!
A place for my Workings, my Weavings ...
oh, and my more mundane crafts as well.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Herbal Wildcrafting: Blackberry/Bramble-berry Freezer Jam.

In an attempt to encourage my body to break it's weight plateau, I have taken to walking about the neighbourhood once per day for 30 minutes (making use of the local hills to vary my pace and exertion). A couple of days ago, I dragged Kara along with me and brought a container with me for the purpose of harvesting some of the Bramble-berries/Blackberries that grow wild in the areas away from the paths that traffic takes. 

Proof that I made Kara walk with me ^_~

It is important, when wildcrafting, to ensure that you harvest away from roads where the toxic products of petrol exhaust belching vehicles taint everything that grows within 10 feet of the curb. I am fortunate to have found a walking path well away from vehicular traffic where there is a profusion of bramble bushes growing to either side. I managed to fill my container to about the 3/4's mark ... taking only a few berries from each location as it is important to leave some for the wildlife (raccoons, skunks, rabbits, etc) that abound in the area as well as to allow the plant the ability to re-seed itself.

I brought my haul of purple-black berries home and set them to soak in a mixture of  1 part vinegar to 2 parts water overnight in the fridge (this cleans the berries, killing off any hidden buggies and removing anything that may be coating them). I brought them out the next day and rinsed them very thoroughly with cold water. I'm cheating for this batch by using a powdered pectin that is designed specifically for making freezer jams and which does not require the fruit to be cooked. I followed the quantities for sugar and fruit listed on the package. I'll be making more jam and rosehip jelly later in the season and I promise I'll do it the old fashioned way.

Placed my rinsed haul in a bowl  while I mixed the powdered
pectin and sugar in a separate one.

I mashed the berries until I had a nice soupy mess to which
I added the sugar/pectin mixture and then stirred it briskly
with a whisk for 3 minutes.

The end result was 4 jars of ready to eat Jam.
They will keep for about 3 weeks in the fridge
or up to a year in the freezer.
Mmm ... nice tart flavour and not over-sweet like the store-bought jams are ^_^.
And (counting the cost of the pectin, the jars, and the sugar) it works out to less than $2.00 for the bunch ... far more cost effective than buying the store stuff.


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