Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Blackberry Jelly

Last Thursday our upright freezer was going out. Turns out I had left more than butter and cream cheese in it.
The thing finally kicked the bucket and thawed everything that was left in it. (I had kinda thought it would keep the stuff at least cool for a little while with the door staying shut.) I ended up throwing away some cans of Pillsbury biscuits/sweet rolls, containers of noodles, a roll of sausage I had overlooked the other day (dagnabit!) and a gallon bag of cherries that didn't look too good.
But there were two gallon bags of blackberries that didn't look bad, so I decided to try to make emergency jelly out of them.

Since I have never made any jelly of any kind in my life, I called my Momma.
Mom says "I follow the instructions in the Sure-jell box".
She did say that she likes hers seedless, so she strains hers through a wire strainer basket thing. I don't have one of those....I tried using a little tea strainer thing but gah, I'da been at that all week. I thought I'd seen those before at the Dollar Tree, so I headed out to buy Sure-jell and a wire strainer.
Dollar Tree didn't have a wire strainer.

I started reading the directions from the Sure-jell package, and crushed my blackberries with a potato masher.

I thought I had read on a website somewhere that boiling the berries made the seeds separate easier, so I tried cooking the berries down, and then I mashed them through a plastic Tupperware strainer/sieve. When I did that, I only had 2.5 cups of juice.  I needed 5 cups of stuff, so I had to add back in some of the pulp/seeds.

Yes I made an awful mess!
Continuing to read the Sure-jell instructions....uh, sort of. Well, why would they not put everything in order anyway? What was the purpose of putting "Measure exactly the amount of sugar...into a separate bowl" between add the berries to the pot and add the Sure-jell to the berries? 
I added the (horrifying amount of) sugar to the berries, then the Sure-jell, then boiled. 

If this stuff turns out anywhere even close to jelly/jam it'll be a freakin' miracle.

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