Monday, November 1, 2010

Up Next....Canning Pears

There are still plenty of pears available in Michigan, so I know they must be available, (or will be) in other areas as well. So that's what I will post next, How to Can Pears. It's not as difficult as you might think!

Thanks for your patience and for following - Trish

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

How to Freeze Blueberries

OK, so it's not a jam recipe...but they're coming. I'm just getting warmed up. Besides, I was all set to post a few recipes and now the peaches are in! Things are moving fast this summer.

Anyway, blueberries are in season in Northern Michigan and the Northern U.S. so I thought this might be helpful.

You'll be tempted to just toss your blueberries in a bag and freeze them. Don't do it! They may become squished and you'll just have a mess on your hands when you thaw them out.

Purchase or pick your own blueberries. If you can find a farm to pick your own, you’ll save some bucks, support a local farmer and have a good time too! Take the kids along and let them help. They will learn where their food comes from and what it looks like before it is packaged and sold at the store.

As always, organic is best whenever possible.

Don't know about the local farms in your area? No problem! Visit Pick Your Own to find a Pick Your Own farm near you.

De-stem and rinse the blueberries. Don’t do this until you are ready to freeze them or use them. Blueberries have a natural coating on them that helps them to last longer. Once you rinse them, the coating is removed hastening the ripening process and shortening their shelf-life.

After you have them rinsed, spread them out on a paper towel to dry.

Lay another paper towel over the top and gently blot them to absorb any water that may be on the top.

You can also gently roll them over a little to dry them as much as possible all the way around. If you leave the paper towel under them and on top, they will air dry in 20-30 minutes.

Once they are dry, lay them in a single layer on a cookie sheet and place it in the freezer.

In an hour or so, check to see if they are frozen. They’ll feel like little marbles. Once frozen you can place them in a freezer bag, squeeze out any excess air and put them back in the freezer. Now you’ll have blueberries for future use… in the dead of winter when you wish you had fresh fruit. It’s not quite as good, but it’s a close second!

If you want to thaw them, I recommend thawing the blueberries in the fridge.

I hope you found this post informative.

Soon...blueberry jam! It will be delicious!

Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Why there have been no blogs…..

You’ve heard the phrase “year-to-date”. Well how about the phrase “jam-to-date”?

This is why there have been no blogs:

From l to r: Strawberry, Raspberry, Cherry and Blueberry jam

My number of "jams-to-date" this spring/summer is already at four! It’s just been one jam thing after another!

The fruits just keep rolling in! The harvest times seem to be one on top of the other with very little down time in between.

I’ve barely had time to enjoy toast and (my own) jam!

Toast with the latest creation, blueberry jam

The next thing on my radar is peaches and I’m hoping we have a couple weeks until they are ready (so I can blog a little). During that time I will post recipes and instructions for all the jams shown above. Although this may not help you with this year’s harvest, the recipes will be here for later.

Please be patient, stay tuned, and thanks for following along.

Take care,

Sunday, June 13, 2010

First Michigan Berries - Strawberry Preserves Soon!

It's been a long winter but it's over!

At long last the Michigan fruit harvest has begun. The first strawberries are in and preserves will soon follow. I will post my recipe and process. Stay tuned!