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Tuesday, August 9, 2011

All-Berry Jam

We've been here for a few Sundays now and each Sunday morning is the same. We wake up, grab some coffee, and walk to the farmer's market. I love farmer's markets. I started shopping at them back in Pittsburgh but really became a fan when we moved to Minnesota. We used to bike to our favorite market at Mill City but now our farmer's market is within walking distance!
The farmer's market is about 1.5 miles away and the trek is straight uphill for the way up. But it's always a reward to walk back down because we have a bag stuffed full of berries and fresh produce! I mentioned my obsession with cherries the other day. What I failed to mention was that I am also obsessed with all of the fresh produce at the market. Our fridge is stuffed with raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, peaches, snap peas, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, beets, onions, etc. On a positive note, a lot of my vegetable and fruit shopping is done at the farmer's market. And have you ever eaten into a berry freshly picked from a patch? Oh. my. Word. You'll never buy berries or fruit from the market again! 

I'm really loving the farmer's market here in West Seattle. But I'm excited to try others. Each neighborhood has its own, unique market with varying farmers and local goods. They are year-round which is even better! Sure, there's Pike's Place right across the Bay. But Pike's Place is like the Mall of America. Who needs all of the tourist hype and crowds when you can go to a perfectly fine, less crowded market right up the road? We've done a good job of supporting local farmers with a variety of foods. Salmon was purchased the other day (delish!) and Ron started buying grass-fed beef, jerky and potatoes from a Seattle farmer who is a Minnesota native!!
Growing up, my family lived in Allentown, PA for several years. We had the most amazing orchard in the backyard! I don't remember much from my younger days but I definitely remember falling into the raspberry bushes and coming out covered in scrapes! We had an abundance of amazing apple trees, peaches, and raspberry bushes. And each summer, my mom would spend hours in the kitchen canning and preserving the goods so we could eat them year-round. I haven't ventured into preserving yet - I plan to do so at the end of the season - but I've been having a lot of fun with the berries I've been gathering at the market, even planning a u-pick session one of these days!

Jams are so simple. And considering my breakfast and daily snack consists of some type of bread with jam, I always have an abundance around the house. I've made jam with pectin before. But I'm not a fan of the artificial taste it leaves. So I decided to try my hand at some jam that leaves out the packaged pectin. This one is super, super, SUPER easy and it is just absolutely divine.

All-Berry Jam
Yield: 1 jar
  • 1 1/2 cups pitted cherries, washed
  • 1 1/2 cups blueberries, washed
  • 1 cup raspberries, washed
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  1. Place cherries, berries, and lemon juice in a food processor or blender. Pulse the ingredients to puree until smooth.
  2. Pour into a sauce pan over high heat and bring to a boil.
  3. Once boiling, stir in the sugar and bring to a boil again.
  4. Cook over heat for about 25 minutes, stirring often, until jam begins to thicken. 
  5. Remove from heat and let cool for a few minutes. Pour into a jar and store in the fridge for up to two weeks.

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