Monday, August 15, 2016

The Blueberry Fairy

In the far away land of Colonie is a magick place we call the Shaker Shed - filled with luscious homemade pies, fresh soups and sandwiches, gorgeous fruits and vegetables, and healthy annuals and perennials galore. Wonderful enchanting staff are always on hand to assist.

And they have a Blueberry Fairy, and she is small and fat and purple.

This was not the first time the Fire Goddess was taken in by a food fairy - dark and tantalizing, glowing with goodness, calling my name - and yes, I came away with four quarts of local blueberries.

Time to make jam!!!

Follow the recipe, and here's some tips:

1. You will need every inch of counter space that ever was in heaven or on earth. Start with a clean kitchen, assemble your equipment, tools, and ingredients. Plan to measure everything except your weight and height.

2. Be prepared to wash every dish you ever owned in this life and your past life. In particular wash all those Ball jars in lots of warm, soapy water and rinse well unless you like the taste Palmolive.
3. After washing the berries and removing anything that looks like a killer (small and green, squidgy) as well as stems and twigs and leaves and bugs and stuff, dump them out carefully onto a large rimmed baking sheet so you can be absolutely sure that they are clean. Be picky or be icky.

4. Puree your berries in a food processor. This is a lot less work than peeling and pitting and hulling, making blueberry jam easier to prepare than other fruits. Of course if you have superpowers all that extra effort is never a problem.

5. Cook with sugar and spices and lemon to a rolling boil, then add your fruit pectin and in another minute you can start filling jars and processing them in the water bath. Use a timer. No really, use a timer. 

6. Plan on being in the kitchen for hours, including cleanup. NOTE: No tomatoes were injured as part of this recipe. Wine helps.

7. If you end up with 44 jars of jam remember your friends and fellow superheroes when the holidays approach. It'll be like summer in a jar. Oh, and make toast.

Zena, Goddess of Fire

Courtesy of Taste of Home:  CANNED BLUEBERRY JAM

·        8 cups fresh blueberries
·        6 cups sugar
·        3 tablespoons lemon juice
·        2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
·        2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
·        1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
·        2 pouches (3 ounces each) liquid fruit pectin

1.      Place blueberries in a food processor; cover and process until blended. Transfer to a stockpot. Stir in the sugar, lemon juice, cinnamon, lemon peel and nutmeg. Bring to a full rolling boil over high heat, stirring constantly. Stir in pectin. Boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
2.      Remove from the heat; skim off foam. Ladle hot mixture into hot sterilized half-pint jars, leaving 1/4-in. headspace. Remove air bubbles; wipe rims and adjust lids. Process for 10 minutes in a boiling-water canner. Yield: 9 half-pints.

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