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Monday, March 19, 2012

Blackberry Jelly

Blackberrry Jelly

I cannot begin to tell you about Blackberry Jelly without first telling you about The Market at Dothan Nurseries that will open this Friday, 3/23/12, from 9 to 1.  I am a vendor with Farmers Daughters Co-op and I will have for sale Blackberry Jelly, Mayhaw Jelly, and Hot Pepper Jelly.  As the growing season progresses, I will have nectarines, peaches, blackberries, plums, figs, tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, and okra.  Back at The Market this year, will be the Bread Lady with wonderful loaves of homemade breads, Yang Farms with bouquets of flowers, Ros with local honey, Bobbi Shelley Catering with frozen casseroles, pottery by Lynn Koenig, Gaucho Farms who specialize in beef, chicken, and lamb and other farm products, and Curt Alfrey (new vendor) with vegetables.  Susan and Amanda, founders of Farmers Daughters Co-op and The Market, will have Tea Cakes, Suzy's....Yes I Made These Brownies mix, and baked goods with pecans.  You've got to tour Dothan Nurseries when you come to The Market.  J. D. and his staff are very artistic with their display of pottery and plants.  Hope to see ya there on Friday!

We grow our own blackberries in our fruit orchard on thornless bushes.  Nothing gives me more pleasure than coming home after work, eating a quick supper, and heading to the fruit orchard to pick berries.  We turn the radio up loud enough for me and the deer, squirrels, cardinals, and other critters to hear it.  I fill my bucket and then pour them into a gallon bag either for my freezer to make jelly later or for someone else to make jelly or a blackberry cobbler.  

My mother-in-law taught me to make jelly.  We would take an empty gallon tea pitcher and pick berries along the side of a road.  This could take all morning to fill the pitcher.  There would be stickers on the bushes and we were always looking out for snakes.  It is certainly a pleasure to be able to pick berries in our fruit orchard that grows on thornless bushes!

Blackberry Jelly 

1 gallon blackberries

Wash berries and place in a large pot, dutch oven, etc.  Cover the berries with water.  Allow berries to come to a full rolling boil.  Remove the pot from the heat and allow the berries and water to completely cool.  I place a second large pot in my sink.  I put a large colander in the top of the pot.  I place a pillowcase in the colander and roll the excess down from the top.  I pour the blackberries into the pillowcase and the water that the blackberries cooked in drains through the pillowcase into the pot.  Next, I squeeze the blackberries that are in the pillowcase and allow the juice to run into the pot.  When I am through squeezing the blackberries to remove the juice, I throw away the pillowcase with the blackberries in it.  The blackberry juice as well as the water they cooked in will be several makings of blackberry jelly.  The juice can be kept in the refrigerator for several days to use to make jelly or frozen for later use.

Blackberry Jelly 

3 1/2 cups blackberry juice
5 cups sugar
1 pkg. Sure-Jell

Bring juice and Sure-Jell to a rolling boil.  Add sugar.  Bring to a rolling boil again.  Boil for 2-3 min.  Pour into jars and seal.  Makes 6-7 half-pints.

Note:  I run my jelly jars through the dishwasher before I use them for the jelly.  I place a towel on my counter top with the jars ready for use.  I place the lids and rings for the jars in a boiler and bring to a rolling boil.  I leave them on the heat until I place them on the filled jelly jar.  After a short time, you will hear a slight pop as the jar seals.

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