There are some things in life that seem pretty scary, but when you get down to it, are super simple. For instance…
Diving. Was it the thought of water shooting up my nose? Was it a fear of falling? Not sure what my phobia was with diving, but it was really intimidating to me and I wouldn’t do it, and didn’t until probably 10 years ago, and then I realized how super easy it was.
Driving. Was I a fearful child/teen? Apparently, because I vividly remember being petrified to drive a car. And truth be told, I didn’t actually get my drivers license until I was 18. Not because I tried and failed, but because I was too terrified to be in charge of a giant hunk of steel hurtling down the freeway at breakneck speeds. I remember my dad taking me out on backroads to practice and I literally got blisters on my hands from holding the steering wheel so tightly. I’m not exaggerating. But then I practiced, and I realized how super easy it was. (Although I’ll continue to admit that I’m no good at it. Ask my friend Erin. When we went out to dinner last week, she said (as we’re on the freeway), “Holley, you’re going, like, 45.” Oops)
And my latest fear? Jam. Yes, you heard me right. Jam. I guess I should open it up to “canning” in general but the giant black canner, and the special lids with the rings and the sterilizing and what if the jam doesn’t set up and the mess in the kitchen and…absolutely scared to death.
But remember all those blackberries we picked?
We’ve had them in oatmeal. We’ve had them in yogurt. We’ve eaten them by the fistful. We still had blackberries to eat and this thrifty girl wasn’t going to see them go to waste.
So, it was time to face my fear. It was time to stand up to the canner. It was woman v. jam and I was determined to win.
And if I do say so myself, it was no contest. I dominated the jam! It truly wasn’t that hard and while it’s work, for sure, it wasn’t complicated.
I must, however, give a “shout out” (what? I’m from the 80’s) to my sous chef, Matty B. While jam isn’t scary, like most initially intimidating things in life, it’s good to have a great partner:)
And the fans in the bleachers? What do they think?
Miss Rae is not only a fan of jam, but apparently a fan of football. Her daddy is so proud:)
Copious amounts of blackberry jam have been consumed. Jam that I made. From blackberries that we picked. And other than the sugar content (yikes!), there’s nothing scary about that!
Blackberry Jam (from the back of the Ball Canning Lids box:)
1 quart crushed blackberries
6 1/2 cups sugar (this hurts my heart)
1 pouch liquid pectin
Combine blackberries and sugar in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Stir in liquid pectin. Return to a rolling boil. Boil hard 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Skim foam if necessary. Ladle hot jam into hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Adjust two-piece caps. Process 10 minutes in a boiling water canner.