Friday, July 14, 2017

Jam Making Time on the Farm!


Years ago I read an article that talked about how freezing berries makes them "juice" better once thawed.

Well, I wasn't born yesterday, and when Big Box stores moved into town, I realized I could buy a ginormous bag of individually quick frozen (IQF up here) sliced strawberries, Triple Berry Blend and sour cherries.

Now sour cherry jam is a family favorite, a recipe my mother-in-law loved and shared a long time ago.

And each year I buy a 40lb. bag of IQF frozen sour cherries and I pour those little fellows into 1 quart or 1 gallon freezer bags and pop them in the freezer. I make sour cherry jam, and cherry pies and whatever else seems fitting...

The point is... I love fresh fruit, and I loved the fun of going off and picking berries, but here's the
4-1-1... I'm crazy busy now with two jobs, an amazing writing career, 6 kids and 14 grandkids and a farm...

So if I can find a way to create amazingly good things on less time and even less money?


This jam is based on the reduced sugar recipe version on the Ball Classic Pectin

A batch makes 2 eight-ounce jars. I quadrupled it to get 8 eight-ounce jars, or 4 sixteen-ounce jars...

Here's the super simple recipe:

Four-Berry Jam

4 1/2 cups frozen triple berry mix (thaw in microwave and mash to equal 3 cups)

4 1/2 cups frozen sliced strawberries (thaw in microwave and mash to equal 2 1/3 cups)

6 Tablespoons Classic Pectin

2 tsp. butter

5 cups sugar

Put mashed berries in 8 quart kettle. Cook over medium-high heat. Stir in butter and pectin gradually. Stir and bring to rolling boil, stirring constantly, a boil that cannot be stirred down.

Add sugar all at once.

Stir sugar in quickly, bring mixture back to a full rolling boil and boil one minute.

Ladle into clean, hot jars.

Top with hot lid and screw band. Place jam in water bath canner, cover with water and boil for ten minutes.

Remove jars from boiling water bath, allow to cool. Lids will seal as jam cools.

We are in love with this jam! It is so good, and I made up a dozen 8 ounce jars to use for Christmas presents. How much fun is it to have delicious homemade jam in a Christmas box or basket?

Yes! This is truly Christmas in July!

And here is some summertime crazy fun for you... The first is Logan. Do you love that somewhat crazy but  charming grin? He built me a HOUSE with a chimney and a blue pond with a fish and a frog... He made Grammy's house! And the second pic is... me. A Play Doh version of me. Stunning resemblance!!!

And then we've got this:

Artist MacKenzie at work, photobombed by cinnamony Watermelon Rind Pickles!!!!

And Friday the girls decided to GET DIRTY:

  Spa day with mud packs, anyone????

And then my weekend project with Mandy and Casey... Mandy used her power washer to wash the front porch concrete floor.... Casey painted the railings..... And I etched the floor with acid, then applied the "bonder" and then two coats of paint... So here you have the before:

And the after!!!

LOVE IT! This week we'll put the swing back and the flowers and then we'll do the same thing to the side porch. There are never enough summer weekends to fit all the summer projects and parties... but we're doing our best to stretch things out!

So that's it from the farm. We've just rolled the big produce stand out to the road, yellow squash, zucchini, beans and cucumbers are ready, and soon tomatoes and corn will join them... And while Mother Nature has been a little stingy with rain, we've been paying young folks to help fill and distribute gallon jugs of water. And we'll leave you with one last picture of what summer's all about... sleepy babies at the town fireman's parade...

And life is good.

Ruthy Logan Herne is living her dream writing sweet inspirational stories that make folks laugh, cry and sigh as they turn the pages... she lives on a farm in upstate New York and loves God, her family, her country, dogs, cats, chocolate, coffee and flowers because if you live up north, your flower season has inborn limitations!

Follow her on Twitter, friend her on facebook at Ruth Logan Herne or stop by her website to see what's coming up in Ruthy's world!


  1. You've got me reminiscing about the blueberry jam I used to make when we spent summers in the mountains when I was young. First came the blueberry picking, then the jam-making. I may have been known to wear my Laura Ingalls style gingham check maxi dress when doing the jamming. ;)

    1. I love fresh fruit, but gosh, I like to eat it or bake with it.... or make more ice cream!!! :) For jam I've come to realize that buying fruit in frozen bulk is a great time saver and you know how crazy we are here... but aren't those sweet, sweet memories, Cate???

  2. Whirlwind Ruthy is back making me dizzy!!!! I haven't made jam in two decades even. I'm tempted to give it a try again after reading this.

    We have had soooo much rain up here that the farmers are worried about flooded fields not yielding good results. If only Mother Nature would balance out her giftings!

    1. Crazy flooding here too. Crops washed out. Fields under water. Erie County and Genesee County were hit hard yesterday and we're one county northeast of that... We're digging ditches to help drain off nature's generosity... But we still have growing plants at the moment. We'll see what these next two weeks bring.

      I blame the Gulf of Mexico!!! :)

    2. And we're in the middle of a drought! I know things will even out in the long run, though. :)

  3. Bless Ruthy for filling in for me because I forgot to post today!!

    1. You have returned the favor and no doubt will again, LOL!

  4. Now I'm craving a good southern biscuit with butter and jam/jelly!

  5. Jam making! I used to make jam, back when we lived in northern Indiana and the produce was as close as a quick drive into the country. Those Amish ladies would have road-side stands (a la Blodgett Farm), and I'd stock up.

    But now I need to make a run to Sam's Club for some frozen berries. Their berry blend would make great jam, wouldn't it?

  6. You are one busy woman!! I don't know how you get everything done! I have made jelly in the past but it has been several years. I like apple and grape better than berry jam/jelly though.

  7. After you shared that recipe, I snapped it up and it's been our family's favorite ever since! And soooo jealous of the baby snuggles.