No doubt, you've surmised that it's berry season here at Of Woods and Words. Or, as I like to call it . . . "the most wonderful time of the year."Nearly every evening for the last week, I've headed out with my berry picking bucket (aka, a lidded Tupperware container) and have been steadily amassing berries. With two gallons of berries in the freezer, one pie made, and a batch of blueberry vinegar steeping away in the corner, it was time to focus berry picking efforts on restocking the jam pantry.
Although there are berries galore in the woods, this year, as my scrapped-up shins can attest to, you have to work a little harder to get them. Last year the berries seemed to favor easily accessible open fields. This year, they've tucked themselves away at the top of granite cliffs and in crevices. They're as big and juicy as ever, but sometimes I feel like I could use shin guards. . . or climbing gear. It's been handy to have various watercraft at our disposal to use in this year's berry picking adventures. This is probably just classic, "the grass is always greener on the other side" but I swear the biggest, best berries live down the lake, where you have to paddle or motor to them.
This past Christmas, I received not one, but two water bath canners. (One got returned . . . there may be no such thing as too many blueberries, but there is such a thing as one too many water bath canners.) I'm feel blessed to have so many people who encourage my berry-picking obsession and on Tuesday evening I got to test out the canner for the first time. There were some nasty smells for a while as the water heated up and the canner burned off some paint/finish fumes.
Last night, I put up another three pints of straight-up blueberry jam. I've become enamored with the blog "Food in Jars" which could mean very good things for our winter pantry and very bad things for my social life/writing life/anything but domestic goddess life. More canning adventures to come soon!