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Kriss Stevens & Scott Manley (508) 648-0013's Blog

By Cape Cod Real Estate for Sale | Broker in Centerville, MA
  • Let's Go Berry Picking!! Blackberries or Blueberries!!!

    Posted Under: General Area in Brewster, In My Neighborhood in Brewster, Property Q&A in Brewster  |  September 2, 2012 5:34 AM  |  222 views  |  3 comments

    y year around this time I head to Vermont to go blackberry picking.  My stepfather, Tom, keeps his eyes on the berries for me and gives me a heads up when they're perfectly ripe.  This year my workload and celebrating my grandmother's 90th birthday prevented me from hitting blackberry season at its peak.lly, Tom was on top of it and picked plenty of blackberries for me and threw them in the freezer.  Since I missed strawberry season in late June, my mom also picked enough strawberries for me to make a double batch of strawberry jam because she knows it's my kids' favorite.  Those were waiting in the freezer as well.GReat ut it wouldn't be blackberry season if I didn't get to pick at least some berries myself.  Last Thursday morning, I rode shotgun in Tom's truck with my head sticking out the window searching for bushes with berries still on them.  It wasn't easy picking because the lack of rain led to smaller berries this year, but it sure was satisfying.  Tom pulled over on the edge of a dirt road and he started at one end of the patch and I started at the other until we met in the middle.e found enough bushes still laden with fruit to pick about six cups of berries.  Added to the 12 cups Tom had already picked, I had enough berries to make four large bottles of blackberry brandy and a batch of blackberry jam. in the kitchen at my parent's farmhouse, my mom had all the jelly making supplies laid out.  She filled the kettle with water and put it on the stove to boil and put a small plate in the freezer.  I crushed the berries and measured them into a tall Dutch oven pan and sprinkled them with a package of Sure Jell fruit pectin. When the berry mixture came to a full rolling boil, I added the sugar and waited for the mixture to come to a full boil again. 

    Once it did I began counting, "One Mississippi, two Mississippi," until I hit 60, stirring continuously.  Meanwhile my mom put ten jelly jars in the sink and ten lids in a bowl.  She poured boiling water over the jars and lids to sterilize them. he way you test if jam or jelly is ready is to see if it sheets off the spoon.  Sheeting occurs when the droplets merge together in slow sheets of jam, rather than just running off the spoon.  Another easier way to tell if your jam has jelled is to put a few drops on a plate that has been in the freezer for ten minutes.  If the jam is ready, it jells right up when it hits the cold plate.Great story I wanted to share about family traditions!!!!

    Every year around this time I head to Vermont to go blackberry picking.  My stepfather, Tom, keeps his eyes on the berries for me and gives me a heads up when they're perfectly ripe.  This year my workload and celebrating my grandmother's 90th birthday prevented me from hitting blackberry season at its peak.

    Thankfully, Tom was on top of it and picked plenty of blackberries for me and threw them in the freezer.  Since I missed strawberry season in late June, my mom also picked enough strawberries for me to make a double batch of strawberry jam because she knows it's my kids' favorite.  Those were waiting in the freezer as well.

    But it wouldn't be blackberry season if I didn't get to pick at least some berries myself.  Last Thursday morning, I rode shotgun in Tom's truck with my head sticking out the window searching for bushes with berries still on them.  It wasn't easy picking because the lack of rain led to smaller berries this year, but it sure was satisfying.  Tom pulled over on the edge of a dirt road and he started at one end of the patch and I started at the other until we met in the middle.

    We found enough bushes still laden with fruit to pick about six cups of berries.  Added to the 12 cups Tom had already picked, I had enough berries to make four large bottles of blackberry brandy and a batch of blackberry jam.

    Back in the kitchen at my parent's farmhouse, my mom had all the jelly making supplies laid out.  She filled the kettle with water and put it on the stove to boil and put a small plate in the freezer.  I crushed the berries and measured them into a tall Dutch oven pan and sprinkled them with a package of Sure Jell fruit pectin. When the berry mixture came to a full rolling boil, I added the sugar and waited for the mixture to come to a full boil again. 

    Once it did I began counting, "One Mississippi, two Mississippi," until I hit 60, stirring continuously.  Meanwhile my mom put ten jelly jars in the sink and ten lids in a bowl.  She poured boiling water over the jars and lids to sterilize them. 

    The way you test if jam or jelly is ready is to see if it sheets off the spoon.  Sheeting occurs when the droplets merge together in slow sheets of jam, rather than just running off the spoon.  Another easier way to tell if your jam has jelled is to put a few drops on a plate that has been in the freezer for ten minutes.  If the jam is ready, it jells right up when it hits the cold plate.

    Using long tongs, I emptied the jars of boiling water and filled them with jam.  I wiped the rims with a damp paper towel, put the lids on and screwed on the screw bands.  In 15 minutes we had ten jars of jam. 

    Sure Jell recommends processing jam for ten minutes in a hot water bath, but my mom has never done that.  She simply turns the jars upside down for about three to four minutes and then turns them right side up and covers them with a clean towel.  The heat from the jam seals the lids and the sugar in it acts as a preservative.

    "I've been canning for 50 years and haven't poisoned anyone yet," she says, and it's hard to argue with that logic.  When I was growing up she would can 100 jars of various jellies and jams every year.  She still does at least half that amount because Tom eats jam right out of the jar.  My mom also uses the jam to make a fast and easy shortbread and jam cookie she calls "Lickity Splits" because they are so quick to make.

    For those who want to explore canning for the first time, jams and jellies are one of the easiest ways to do so.  The instructions and recipes for many different types of jam and jelly are right in the box of Sure Jell.

    You can use frozen or fresh fruit.  Give it a try.  There is no more satisfying sound than that of canning jars popping as they seal.  

    Beverly Carmichael's Lickity Splits

    Makes about 40 cookies

    3/4 cup butter, softened

    2/3 cup sugar

    2 teaspoons vanilla

    1 egg

    2 cups flour

    1/2 teaspoon baking powder

    1/2 cup jam

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Place butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl and beat until light and fluffy (about 1 minute).  Add vanilla and egg and blend well.  Stir in flour and baking powder and mix with a sturdy spoon and then your hand until dough is completely blended and comes together in a ball. 

    Divide dough into four equal parts.  On a lightly floured surface, shape each piece of dough into a slab that is twelve inch long, 2 inches wide and 3/4 inch thick.  Place each slab on an ungreased cookie sheet.  With your forefinger, make a half inch wide and quarter inch deep depression down the center of each slab.  Fill each of the depressions with 2 tablespoons of jam each. 

    Bake at 350 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes (check after 10), or until light golden brown.  Cool slightly and then cut diagonally into strips.  Transfer cookies to wire racks and cool completely.

    Please share your family traditons~we would love to hear about them!!

    Shared by~ Stevens & Manley RE

    Kriss 508-648-0013~Scott  508-360-1771
    Alex Peter 251-689-4988 ~ Jen Hills 413-575-5911

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    Provided by and Read more: http://www.wickedlocal.com/capecod/entertainment/dining_and_food/x1101050803/Simply-Delicious-Blackberry-picking-in-Vermont#ixzz25JZIxwN3

     

 
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