July Berries

July brought a few sunny days which coordinated with my days off, in which I was able to capitalize on the wild blueberries behind the house.   Lee had mentioned one evening that I should go check them out because there were a ton of berries, but I forgot to go look at the patch until my neice was over one Sunday afternoon.  Carly and I wandered into the brush patch and discovered that Lee was NOT kidding!  The bushes were loaded!

We picked, took bug breaks, picked, took bug breaks and picked some more.  I soaked the berries overnight to get rid of the worms and found a blueberry jam recipe in my favorite canning cookbook (“Canning for a New Generation” by Liana Krissoff) that I tried out the next day.  I love this book because all the jam and jelly recipes call for granny smith apple to be used in place of pectin … I have raved about this in past blogs, see them for more details on pectin-free, lower sugar preserves.  Check out the pictures and progression of Blueberry Lemon Jam:

   

Blueberries bubbling and cooking down … the cheese cloth bag with the granny smith apple peels & cores – aka PECTIN!

Seriously, if you don’t own this book then you need to get a copy … The Blueberry Lemon Jam is amazing!  I actually had to ask Lee not to put it on his biscuits by the spoonful because the recipe only made four small jars!

Dave and Diane came to town and she brought me fresh snap peas and green beans out of her garden, fresh blackberries and blueberries.   Also book-inspired, I made Blackberry Lemon Jam and Dilly Beans – both phenomenal!   The fresh lemon juice and zest adds a lively tartness that compliments the sweetness of the fruit nicely.  Diane made some blackberry ice cream for us while she was here and again, the addition of fresh lemon juice made the final product even better.  Don’t even bother with bought/bottle lemon juice.

DILLY BEANS!  with crushed red pepper and garlic cloves for extra kick.

More hiking, weather was not as great but we still got out and up.  We were going to ride the tram to the top of Mt. Roberts and hike around in the alpine; however, we got to the tram at 0930 and it did not open til 1100.  Rather than waste time, we just started hiking up Mt. Roberts from the bottom, got to the tram (about 2 miles up the mtn) and continued on for another half mile.  We did ride the tram down – fair enough since we hike up, right?!?

 

 

 

 

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