spring shabby blog

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Summer fruit!

I took a day off from my day job today and spent the entire day canning.  I started some canning on Tuesday and was so happy doing this that I decided I needed to do some more.  My older brother Eddie simply loved my cooking, and he certainly would have enjoyed having some of my homemade jam.    He was born in the month of August and also passed away in August of his 40th year.   I still remember him coming in to visit me and him heading straight to the cookie jar, asking "What do you have good to eat Denise?   As a young teenager he would exclaim after dinner.  Make some brownies!! I can still hear the delight in his voice.

Whidbey Island has an abundance of blackberries and they have even been classified a noxious weed.  I think there is no better aroma than fresh picked blackberries.  In fact my favorite fragrance-Trish McEvoy #9 has a blackberry essence in it.  This year, because of the many early warm and sunny spring days our crops were ready earlier than usual.  Lucky for my grandaughters that we were able to pick some when they were here last month.  There will probably be another months worth of blackberries coming.

I headed down to the beach to do my picking this morning and picked about 8 cups worth.  I always avoid the lower ones just in case they have been 'watered' by dogs. I look for shiny dark plump berries that come away easily from the bush.  

Blackberries have determined little branches with prickly thorns and they will take root whenever and wherever they can.

I made several jars!

Blackberry jam
Blueberry jam
Red and Green jalapeno jelly--my absolute favorite!--had to do 2 batches of this... so good with cream cheese on crackers and a little champagne.
Pickled zucchini's-- a fond memory from my bff Janice, who gifted me with some many years ago
Dill pickles
Peach jam

I'm looking for a relish recipe.... One that would go good on hotdogs.  Anyone have a good recipe that they could recommend?  or if you could let me know your favorite thing to can I would love to hear about that!

much love,

sending bushels of blackberry kisses to you Eddie up in Heaven.   I miss you.

1 comment:

  1. What delightful memories, Denise, though I am sad for you that you lost your older brother, sweetie. I'm sure his infectious personality comes out in all you bake and cook, hon. The photo is one of yumminess in jars, wonderful :-) I've not done much canning, I was not taught how to do it, and pressure cookers always gave me the willies! But I DID try to make some blueberry preserves once in my youth. I must say, it wasn't the greatest success but picking the blueberries with my then-boyfriend was a blast :-D We had a great time up in the NC mountains and though the preserves weren't the best, the time we had together more than made up for it :-) He remains one of my favorite people, and his birthday was August 8th. So Happy Birthday to you, Palmer, thanks for eating the preserves, what a trooper! And Happy Birthday to you, Eddie, you live on through your sister and her wonderful craftsmanship :-) <3

    Love to you, D :-)

    Regina B XOXOXO