Billions of berries, berries for jam!
The week before last, Jesse was off between semesters (hallelujah!) and while we mostly lazed around the house reading books (hallelujah!), towards the end of the week we decided we should do something productive--so we went raspberry picking! (Amen and amen!)
I don't know if you've ever been raspberry picking (I hadn't been before, unless you count the ones I picked off bushes as we hiked in the mountains--thanks dad!) but if you haven't, and you live somewhere where they have U-pick berry farms, YOU SHOULD GO.
Seriously, these things were the most perfect berries I had ever tasted. Plump, juicy, sour but not too sour, and sweet too...mmmmmm.
Perfection. We picked 2 quarts (at a price a little lower than the grocery store, I think) and were extremely pleased with ourselves.
So pleased, in fact, that we went home and promptly made jam!!!
It's just freezer jam, cause I didn't have enough half pint jars, but MMMM. YES.
So you'll notice that the jam in the tupperware on the right up there looks a little chunky....that's because it's actually raspberry peach jam! (Yes, seriously!)
And it's raspberry peach jam because on our way home from raspberry picking, we stopped and bought a half-bushel of fresh Michigan peaches!
Now I know you're thinking, "what in the world would you do with so many peaches?!"
Well besides the obvious ("Devour them all in a single afternoon and then have the worst stomachache in the history of mankind")--of course, we canned them!
Nikolai, while adorable in his father's hat, can't be trusted around huge pots of boiling water, so we waited for him to nap before we got started...
...and then we went to town on those babies!
Notice my hot, sticky appearance--as it turns out, 4 pots of hot boiling liquid in an apartment with no AC on an 80 degree day makes for an uncomfortably hot house...
But we enjoyed ourselves nonetheless!
We made quick work of those peaches (it's so much faster with two people! Hence why I waited til Jesse's break to do it...) and BEHOLD! The product of our labors:
Aren't they beautiful?!?! I just get so much satisfaction out of looking at those beautiful cans full of beautiful peaches that we will get to eat all winter long!
So now, of course, I need to give a hearty thank-you to my awesome mother-in-law Juli for teaching me how to can. When you offered to show me how last summer, I never expected that such hot, sticky work would give me so much happiness--but it does! I'm so glad to know how to can, and to anyone reading this who doesn't know how but wants to learn--I will teach you! It is amazing! It's messy and fun and in the end what you have is DELICIOUS!
Ok, I think I got all my excitement now :D
Finally, in cause you're wondering how that jam waaay back up there turned out (cause I know you're just dying to know ;D)....
well let's just say it's AMAZING on an english muffin...
but it is DIVINE over vanilla icecream.
Mmm! And hooray for skills!