Monday, July 26, 2010

The Story of the Raspberries

There once was a young couple who loved raspberries and everything made from raspberries. They were silly enough to plan a two week vacation right in the middle of raspberry season. This caused some concern for them.  Knowing there would only be a few days left of berries, they went to pick the day after they got home. Sad day for them, the raspberries were closed for u-pick. Too many people had been too heavily picking over the weekend. Two days later, they tried again. Success! There were a few rows of berries open.  This ambitious and crazy young couple picked 15 lbs of raspberries! In the hot sun while tending a 5 month old great dane pup. This pup was not happy to be there but had to come as she was not feeling well and couldn't be trusted not to have an accident while left in her crate. (She's fine now).  Oh, and there were a few school buses full of middle school kids there picking too, fun right?
On the first day, they used these berries to make 3.5 lbs of sure-jell freezer jam and 2.5 lbs of ball freezer jam.  Freezer jam is the best kind of jam!  They tried two different kinds of pectin, sure-jell and ball, as a little comparison experiment.  Here is what they found:

Sure-jell freezer jam:
Uses 3 cups of berries and 5 1/2 cups of sugar
Tastes like heaven (meaning like dessert)
Sets up great everytime

Ball freezer jam:
Uses 4 cups of berries and 1 1/2 cups of sugar
Tastes like freshly sweetened berries
Doesn't set up quite as firm

They decided to use the Ball freezer jam in the future as it seems to be quite a bit better for their waistlines.  This crazy couple also froze 6 lbs of mashed berries to make 2 different batches of wine during the winter months.  More on that story later.  They chose the prettiest, firmest berries to freeze whole, almost 3 lbs worth!  They set aside enough berries to try a cooked jam and used the remainder as snacks and to flavor some delicious raspberry lemonade.

On the second day, this ambitious young couple decided to make a batch of cooked and canned raspberry jam.  Everyone told them they wouldn't like it near as well as freezer jam.  Everyone is probably right.  But they wanted to try it anyway, canning is a good skill to have right?  And canned jam still makes a pretty little gift!  But this couple isn't very good at canning.  They make a big mess.  And have to consult 4 or so books in the process.  And check things on the internet.  And call both moms at least once.  People tell them it will get easier, they hope so.  A few hours later, they called it 100% successful.  They had 4.5 lbs of cooked jam in cute little 8 oz jars.  And a messy kitchen, which is normal.
Andrew in the messy kitchen
The adorable cooked canned jam
And so the story of the raspberry is complete.  15 lbs of fresh berries turned into 3.5 lbs of sure-jell freezer jam, 2.5 lbs of Ball freezer jam, 3 lbs of frozen whole raspberries, 4.5 lbs cooked canned jam, and 6 lbs of frozen berries ready for wine making.  That's almost like a novel.
The end


Anonymous said...

Now that is a delicious story with a happy ending. I'm glad you got your raspberries.

I've ended up picking 3 flats so far this year out at my bosses house. I got lucky and she let me pick for free if I left half of what I picked for her. It was kind of hard to leave the berries, but considering she sells them for $30 a flat I saved myself $90 by working for my food. In reality I would not have been able to have them if I would have had to pay for them. Now we are working on expanding our berry patch at my Dad's.

Anonymous said...

i am doing great!! thanks for asking. just working...that's about it. life is calm. :) my softball team is still undefeated. we have our last regular game this friday before playoffs start....woo hoo!!

how are you? i seriously need to get in my car sometime and just come for a friday night-sunday morning....all your pictures make the country look soooo good!!!