I'm a bit new to the grown up world (or so I like to think), something that I have really fought is food preservation. I really would like to be the kind of Mother and Wife that has a year's supply of food on hand, and is eager to pull out a pressure cooker or food dehydrator to prevent food from going to waste, but to be quite honest canning just doesn't sound like that much fun to me. About a year ago when my husband and I were buying our house my mom offered to buy me a food dehydrator. I declined the gift informing her that I had absolutely no need for it, because we didn't have any fruit trees. My parents on the other hand have a whole apple orchard and several other varieties of fruit trees. I felt that her suggestion of a food dehydrator was merely a way of encouraging me to participate in the drying of their fruit. Well, to my surprise in our little yard we have a plum tree, a peach tree, and a rather large apple tree. It looks like I may need to invest in a food dehydrator after all.
That is all a bit of background information that will hopefully help you understand what a big step forward this latest project was for me. My family and I have been participating in this great food coop called Bountiful Baskets. It isn't available everywhere, but if you live in Idaho, Utah, Wyoming, or Texas you should definitely look into it. It seems like a great deal. You make a small contribution and end up getting a huge laundry basket full of fresh produce. It is a mix of 50% vegetables and 50% fruit. There is a different variety every week. Along with the weekly produce baskets Bountiful Baskets also offers several other items: Bread, granola, cookies, tortillas, and bulk produce. This selection varies from week to week so you have to keep up with the current offerings. This last week I purchased 12 dry pints of blueberries. We love blueberries in our house so I thought that this would be a great investment. Now my son could eat about a pint a day, but I decided it would be best to preserve some of them.
I didn't really have a huge surplus of berries, but enough to do a little food preservation. I decided to make Blueberry freezer jam (recipe here), Blueberry syrup (here), and to freeze four pints for smoothies and other recipes. I may not have pulled out the pressure cooker, but this is progress for me.
I am not sure that my jam will fully set up, but I am rather pleased that I made the effort. I am sure that even if it doesn't set up that it will be delicious on ice cream.