Sunday, August 16, 2009

Blackberry Preserves

"The medicines of another time, the balm of sun and idle August afternoons, the faintly heard sounds of ice wagons passing on brick avenues, the rush of silver skyrockets and the fountaining of lawn mowers moving through ant countries, all these, all these in a glass."
Ray Bradbury, Dandelion Wine

Picked about two gallons of blackberries today with Mr. Jean Nagai.

The neighbor kids asked me why we were doing it and I said because they'll taste like summer in winter.

Rinsed them off and brought them to a boil with two cups of sugar. Betty Crocker's blackberry preserve recipe calls for one cup of sugar for every cup of berries, totally obliterating the fundamental tartness of the berries, so this time I taste-tested it and only added as much as seemed necessary. The liquid never became syrupy, and is lighter in color than the highly sugared versions I've made. 

Poured them in sterilized jars, sealed and waterbathed them for ten minutes. 

A patch of sunlight in the dark.

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