Last summer Chasen had a class pretty much every Saturday morning. It got old really, really quickly. He missed some t-ball games, which stank, but at least we were occupied. When t-ball ran out, I was at a loss for things to keep us busy. So I decided to check "blueberry picking" off my Mississippi bucket list. You see, ever since we moved here 5+ years ago, I've heard people talk about going blueberry picking. So I did a little research and discovered that the Nesbit Blueberry Plantation was less than 10 miles away. Score! I loaded Isaac up and off we went.
We were some of the first people to arrive. It was July... in Mississippi... so it was H-O-T. I won't lie; I hated every second of it. Unless there is running involved, I'm really an indoor girl. Hey - it is what it is. Nonetheless, Isaac and I went up and down rows and rows of beautiful blueberry bushes. He was having a blast, and all the while I was wishing to load up and go to Sonic and get a cold drink. Ha! It took about two hours, I think, but we finally picked one measly gallon of homegrown blueberries for $12.
There I am with my gallon bucket tied around my waist. Love those red New Balance 990's!
We got home and I realized just how many blueberries were in a gallon. Holy moly! What was I going to do with all of those? I looked in a favorite cookbook by Southern Living and found a couple of recipes. One was for a blueberry pie (which I made a month later) and the other was for blueberry jam. I measured out the required amounts for each and froze them. Was I really planning to make jam? Me?
Sure enough, I was. I decided it'd make a sweet Christmas present for close friends. I mean, who doesn't like jam? It was actually quite easy. First I had to crush the blueberries, so I just put them in my blender. Next they went in a large pot with lemon juice and SEVEN CUPS OF SUGAR. Get your insulin ready, friends!
That's a pretty color, huh?
I added some liquid pectin, which I had never heard of, and stirred and stirred. The tricky part was ladling it into 8 oz jars.
I didn't make too much of a mess, but jammin', by definition, is a messy task. So get ready!
What came next surprised me, as I didn't read ahead in my recipe. I had to "process" the jars in boiling water for five minutes.
Boiling closed jars seems dangerous, but I survived.
There they are! Ten beautiful little jars of jam. I was anticipating five, and I have rechecked my math, so I am still clueless as to why I ended up with ten.
Say hello to my little friends!
I am so, so proud of my jam. It pretty much makes my awful two hours in Nesbit worth it. And despite all of the sugar, it really tastes like fresh blueberries. Guess I know what I'll be doing next summer!