I love raspberries. We all do in this house. The boys give me stiff competition in the consumption department.
When I was a kid we lived in what had been an old farm house in north Jersey on a good sized piece of real estate. We had a big veggie garden, a rhubarb patch and a huge stand of blackberries in the backyard. My Dad got me my own raspberry bushes to go with them. Our second house in Virginia had a sunny yard so I got a second chance to grow my own berries.
When we moved here I transplanted some of the raspberries from my patch at the old house.
The original bushes came from Aunt Mary and Uncle Len's NJ garden. Len was tearing some of them out when PFS stopped by for a visit. He collected a bunch to bring to Virginia. They grow like weeds, but the good kind.
Between the two houses we picked 80 pints this spring, minus what the kids ate off the bushes everyday.
A Frisbee makes a great picking basket, shallow so berries aren't crushed and they hold three pints each.
I put some berries in a silent auction for The Scholarship Fund of Alexandria every year. And we eat them everyday.
This year I froze some and made jam. Jam was always my Mom's thing, I'd never attempted jam.
I looked up some recipes and decided it wasn't rocket science. Basically anywhere from a 1:1 to a 4:1 ratio of berries to sugar. I used 4 pints of berries to one pint of sugar.
I cooked them down, slightly crushed, and skimmed the foam.
Messily (woulda'/coulda'/shoulda' ... a wide mouth funnel is a good thing ... next time) put the sticky goo in clean, sterilized jars and processed for 20 minutes in a deep pot of water. Since I didn't have a rack I improvised.
Voila c'est jam. Looked good, tasted great.
Can't have enough of these beautiful berries in the house.
We have a fall crop just coming in. We've been picking 2-3 pints a day since mid-August.
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