On this fine Sunday morning I had the best berry picking partner. We were thrilled to be out here at my family’s oil lease riding the ATV up and down every visible path, making more and more blackberry and Sand Plum patch discoveries. There were more than we knew what to do with…it was a backcountry adventure!
“Nodding donkey” sighting
I love cattails!
Up close with sand plums
All finished picking for this season. Hopefully the weather cooperates, and there will be another crop next year.
Wild horses encounter along the way
Happy with the blackberry results
Just as most of the chigger bites ceased from intense itching, freeing my hands, I decided to make use of these bright red beauties after 5 days of ripening them off of the vine.
This is only one round of the numerous pots of berries boiled.
Thank goodness my friend Andrya came over today. I was fortunate to recruit a loyal kitchen assistant for my jelly project.
Batch number two: In case you are wondering why I didn’t simply make all at once, Grandma Nanaw always advised never to double the batch. I would not cross the advice of the jelly making queen.
Even aced this batch with no aprons
This is how the juice looks after the sugar and Sure-jell is added.
Time to do some serious jarring of the jelly. This has to be done very carefully because time is of essence so it does not start to set in the pot. Also everything is hot and has to be assembled as hot and as clean as possible so the lids seal properly. *It is important to quickly wipe the rims of the jars clean of any dripage, so the lid and rim seal (and pop) for storing.
I canned about 19 jars! I don’t know how many pounds of Sand Plums we picked but after two batches, we still had several cups of juice leftover. My first experience without my Nanaw was successful and as bittersweet (or just tart) as the taste of SP jelly.