“Oh?” She sounded surprised as she bagged the pectin, sugar, and plastic containers I’d just purchased. “Is it hard?”
I assured her it was as easy as…well…making freezer jam, and pretty quick, too. And I marveled again that there are actually jam-loving people out there–kids and adults–who have never spent some time on a July afternoon mashing raspberries into vibrant red mush. Who have never inhaled deep the lovely, summery, sweet-tart scent as you stir the crushed raspberries into the hot pectin-sugar syrup. Who have never reveled in the tangy taste of fresh raspberry jam spooned on top of a muffin or scone–or even plain old toast.
It’s such a fabulous feast for the senses, and even more so if you pick the berries yourself on a golden summer morning with the sun stroking your skin and the world buzzing, fluttering, humming, rustling, singing with all manner of animal life (hint: watch out for wasps).
I know I’m hopelessly berry-biased, but I can’t imagine not measuring the summer in jams. Strawberry in June and raspberry come July. These two are always freezer jams now, because I think they turn out fresher-tasting and have a prettier, more vivid hue that way. In August, the Himalayan blackberries sprawling across our acreage burst into berry, as do our four old blueberry bushes, who faithfully carry on into September. I break out my big canning kettle, steam up the kitchen windows, and fill my shelves with gleaming glass jars of deep purple jam.
Freezer or canned, though, it doesn’t matter: either type of jam will bring a taste of summer during the depths of winter, when we need it the most.
If you’ve never made freezer jam before and need more reassurance about how easy it is to make, check out http://www.kraftbrands.com/surejell/howto_freezer.aspx and see for yourself!
Thanks for reading, and happy July jammin’!