Take a close look at the two nectarines in the above photo. Notice anything unusual? These two were in a basket on the kitchen counter. When I woke Monday morning it was obvious someone had a midnight snack and it was not me or Peter. There is a mouse in the house! What to do? First thing was to remove the nectarines from the kitchen to the front porch. Second was to disinfect the entire kitchen with bleach. Third was to put all pantry items in secure (mouse proof) containers in the pantry. And finially, get rid of the mouse(s)? I did not want to kill the mouse so a conventional trap was out. They have mouse catch and release traps for sale but that did not seem right, either. What if the mouse caught his tail in the trap? Solution: mothballs. Not a lot, but just one or two strategically placed should do the trick. I bought some mothballs today and will let you know how it all works out. Fingers crossed the mouse leaves the house . . .
Monday, The Mouse in the House day, was wet and foggy.
Peter made a fire to chase the damp away. Once the rain stopped, I headed out to pick blueberries along the cliff. Picking is the most difficult part, next to cleaning the berries. After I had a large bowlful, I came inside and cleaned them on the kitchen table. Shortly after that, I made Blueberry Jam.
It takes about eight cups of wild berries to make 7 plus jars of jam. After cleaning the berries, crush one cup at a time. Add seven cups sugar, two tablespoons lemon juice and a teaspoon of butter. Cook on the stove in a large pot stirring constantly.
Before cooking, open two pouches of certo and clean and sterilize the jars and lids. Ready the jars on the counter for easy filling.
Cook the berry mixture until it reaches a rolling boil stage. That is a boiling mixture that does not stir down. Add the Certo, keep stirring until the rolling boil returns and then continue stirring for one minute more. Ladle the hot berry syrup into the jars. Clean the jar edge and rim, screw on the lid and invert the jar. Do this for all of the mixture. Whatever extra portion of berry syrup left over goes in a jar and into the fridge.
Turn the jars right side up and let cool. As they cool the lids will pop and you know the jar is sealed.
Making jam is fun and easy to do because it’s an exact Science. The secret to success is using Certo and organizing everything before you start cooking. It’s important to measure all ingredients meticulously. Peter’s mom taught me to make jam back in the late 70’s. From that day on I was hooked on making jam.
By making jam with Nova Scotia wild blueberries I can take my bounty home to the US to enjoy all year long. If you can’t pick your own, then buy them when they are on sale at the grocery. Homemade jam beats store bought jam, any day. And a jar of jam makes a nice gift to give to a friend, too.