It's nearing the middle of summer here, and the little raspberry patch on our rental property is coming along very nicely. Almost TOO nicely, as it nearly overran the rest of the flower garden, and if not kept in check, will soon overtake the entire back of the house.
I have plenty of time, however, to trim back all it's little new shoots and tie up the old ones so they stay straght and healthy. And with all this care, and the natural voracity of raspberries, we've been getting some of the sweetest, largest, most delectable berries I've ever had.
My in-laws place has a raspberry forest. You could spend all day in this patch, picking, and never finish. And the next day, more are ripe. When I pick there, my mother in law lets me keep half of what I pick if I want. The last bath I kept was over two kilos, and I have more from her in the freezer. From our own bushes, we get two, maybe three, good sized cereal bowls full.
Since our berries are more maintained due to the fact I have loads more time, and the landlord trimmed them all back to the main canes last year, our berries taste much sweeter and tastier sometimes than from my in-laws. So, since we're so over-run with all these berries, I decided to try my hand at jam making with some from the in-laws.
1 kilo of sugar = using only 1 of my kilos of raspberries. A good small batch for my first attempt.
Raspberries in the pot. Looking slightly less tempting.
Sterilizing and heating up my jars in the oven. Just using old spaghetti sauce and jam jars, like my mother-in-law and Phillip's grandmother. Works well enough for them, and is FAR cheaper than proper canning jars.
Sugar in the pot...
Dissolve and bring to a boil. For a while. Without burning. Until it "gells", which you can tell by either dripping it on a cold saucer, or some spoon test, or just that the bubbles look really nice and thick.
3 jars of nice thick jam! The tops all pop back in when they cool, preserving the jam nicely. And it's nice and thick, and you can turn my jars upside down and the jam doesn't move! And it tastes sooooo good. And we still have more raspberries to eat.