Putting Things By


I’ve been busy lately.  My husband picked wild blackberries for me and some good friends of ours (even better friends since they did all the picking…) picked some chokecherries for us.  So I did what women used to do.  I “put things by”.  They used that term to describe all the cooking, canning, drying, freezing and otherwise preserving they did.  They put their bounty by for a day when food wasn’t as bountiful, like say, the dead of winter when you’re buried under 3 feet of snow and can’t remember what it felt like to be warm, let alone what it felt like to pick berries on a hot summer day.  Sounds like a good time to pop open some bottled summer.  Not that we are ever buried under 3 feet of snow where I live, but we have good imaginations here.

I froze some of the blackberries in batches for future blackberry cobbler (a family favorite), and made Wild Blackberry Jam with the rest.  I made it in the same way I made the Wild Raspberry Jam adjusting the sugar for the sweetness or tartness of the berries.  The kids smeared it on homemade 3-Grain Waffles this morning.  They seemed pretty happy.

I turned the Chokecherries into Chokecherry Jelly.  Now we are just waiting for it to cool so we can try some.  I’ve got bread dough rising on the counter.  By the time the jelly is ready, the fresh bread will be too.   Ahhh, life is good.

What do you do with your bounty?  Or does your bounty reside on the shelves of the nearest Walmart until you are ready for it (which is not a bad strategy if pantry storage is a problem…)?
Enjoy the Day!



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  1. I will be canning this year! I am nervous and excited. I have never done it and only have a few memories of watching my grandmother can. This year a friend and I are buddying up and are going to learn. My fear… making countless jars of something horrendous. Pepper jelly is on the list to make and can, my hubby planted 10 or 15 different types of peppers :/ we also have 6 tomatoes plants, 4 different types of squash, okra, and a small handful of strawberrys. I am so pleased you showed the low sugar pectin, that is a must, I have been cutting the sugar down my a huge amounts in our house. Do they sell it at Walmart? Or do you get it online?

  2. You'll do great! One year I made tons of pickles. They had way too much vinegar. Two years later, I finally dumped them. Live and learn — it happens to all of us.

    I originally bought the pectin at Walmart, but this year they didn't have it. I don't know if they were just out or if they quite stocking it. I found a different brand (Sure-gel) at Price Cutter and it worked great. I like the instructions in the Ball brand much better, though. However, if you follow my recipe and basic water bath canning instructions, you shouldn't have any problems. Have fun!!

  3. Just wanted to say that I tried my hand at canning this weekend! I made some bread & butter pickles and they actually turned out really good. Yay! I'm inspired to try one of those jam recipes now. 🙂

  4. That's awesome. Be forewarned, though, jams and pickles are the gateway drugs to all kinds of canning. Once you start seeing all those pretty jars stacking up in your cupboard, you're hooked.

  5. Lol! Well that's one addiction I'm pretty sure my family wouldn't mind me having! Travis already has a list going of things he would love for me to can. Lol.

  6. I know what you mean. It always cracks me up how our families can come up with food ideas for us to try. At least they're supportive, right?

  7. I think maybe everybody is going to start thinking that they aren't cool if they can't can! Maybe I should try it!!

  8. Unfortunately, I tend to can late at night when the house is all quiet, so May-May hasn't had much opportunity. Looks like we are having a girls' night the next time I can.

  9. That sounds like a good idea. I like the idea of canning because, well, you can can almost ANYTHING. I have even tried pickled eggs!

  10. I have made low sugar and regular strawberry jams, peach jam and peach butter. Also hot banana peppers, mixed picked peppers, green tomato relish, bread & butter pickles and yesterday chunked tomatoes. Oh my Grandmother would be so proud! 🙂

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