I have to admit that I've always been a little fearful of preserving things. My husband refers to me as Food Safety Girl. I've been known to stand in front of the refrigerator scrutinizing leftover breasts of chicken, as if they were suspected of terrorist activities. With food safety, there's a fine line between cautious and crazy, and it's anyone's guess which side I'm on.
So preserving fruit has always sounded a little scary, and reading about it is doubly so. Most canning books make frequent use of the words "botulism" and "bacteria." They don't really put me in the happy experimental mood necessary to dive into a new recipe.
But I overcame my fear this past week and made Strawberry Blueberry jam from berries we'd picked. (The strawberries were picked in june, and I'd frozen two cups of berry halves.) And... wow! This is a recipe I'm sure to repeat next year.
2 cups halved strawberries (defrosted)
4 cups blueberries
3 cups white sugar
The juice of 1 lemon
I cooked the fruit, sugar and lemon juice for more than a half hour, while sterilizing the jars in boiling water. Because I don't like the way blueberries fail to spread in jam, I actually pulsed my stick blender into the simmering jam. I put a saucer in the freezer for a while, then dropped a teaspoon of my thickening jam onto it. When I saw that this gelled, I knew the jam was ready.
With a funnel, I filled the jars to 1/4 inch from the top and sealed them. Et voila. The leftover bit was allowed to cool in a stray jar, and we ate it the next day. Wonderful! Like heaven on toast.