When berries start to produce there are often very few at the start; one here and one there, generally nibbled by the surprised harvester. Then, with no warning at all the bushes bust forth with a heavy load..filling our baskets to the brim.
Freezing is our first and foremost method for berry preserving. Washed and well dried, berries are first scattered in a single layer on trays and placed in the freezer. This keeps them from sticking together later. Once frozen they are bagged and labeled for later use. I bag in 2 cup portions..the right size for muffins and crisps.
|Larger berries are sliced before freezing.|
The other excellent method of preserving is jam! Jelly is nice, but jam gives us a heartier taste of those delightful berries. Cleaned and crushed ever so wonderfully, mixed with sugar and lemon..cooked slow until thick and bubbly. I love cute little pint jars with the 'quilted' look to them..so rustic and homey! Nothing satisfies a harvester's soul quite like the pop of canning lids fresh from the canner.
|Marmalade from an earlier spring.|
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