Bonus points if you can read that title and not automatically think of this song.
I've been curled up with the Ball Blue Book these past few summer nights. Exciting reading, I know, but there are some great things happening right now that we want to enjoy come winter. Plus, of course, scoring blue ribbons at the local fair.
My canning buddy with his busy bee.
For the first time I'm putting up a flavored vinegar. This one is mint and lemon in white wine vinegar. We really like salads and thanks to Jamie Oliver we most often make our own dressings. This seems like it would be good over sturdy greens in winter.
Our wild blackberries are going crazy this year. There are so many of them out there and not nearly enough time to pick them all. Hopefully I'll can some jam and freeze a quart more for the winter. The flavor of the berries varies from patch to patch: the ones behind the chicken run are very tart and the ones by the shed super sweet. No idea why. Soil, maybe? Chicken poo? Who knows.
Last year I canned blueberry syrup for our pancakes and it was a huge hit. This year I did another batch of blueberry and also some blackberry syrup. Here the cooked berries are draining overnight. The blueberries made a purple juice while the blackberries are more of a maroon. We weren't thinking of this use for the brackets when we went with open shelving (um, more like they were cheap) but dang, look at that! Perfect!
The Ball Book had a recipe for blueberry syrup and I just substituted blackberries with the second batch. Substituting anything while canning is pretty frowned upon for food safety reasons but I can't imagine the acidity levels are that different. Cutting the Ball Book recipe in half results in 4 jelly jars of syrup for each batch. The blackberry syrup is very good - nor overly sweet at all and still managed to keep its fruit flavor. Besides pancakes I'd like to put these over coffee cakes this winter and maybe scones.
We have a busy weekend ahead of us but here's hoping to get some more jars put up next week: at least some jars of garlic and some mixed berry jam.