Blackberry Jelly & Syrup

When we pick berries, Jerri freezes the ones we don’t use right away. Frozen berries don’t have the texture of fresh fruit, but they work fine for pies, cobblers, crisps and jellies. One big advantage of frozen berries is that they keep a long time. We just made two batches of Blackberry Jelly and two…
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Crabapple Jelly

My Grandpa Hopp introduced me to hummingbirds when I was a toddler. I don’t remember those very early years, but Grandpa told me about them when I was older. By the time I was four or five, I remember his sitting with me in the stone porch and pointing out the hummingbirds as they swarmed…
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Wild Blackberry Jam

The wild blackberries are small this summer. At least the ones I picked seemed tiny compared to the huge ones I picked as a kid. Those berries were almost as long as my little finger. Of course, my little fingers were also a lot smaller than they are today, so my memory might be colored…
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Wild Plum Jelly

Across the small field that had originally been his grandparents’ kitchen garden when my father was a boy was a thicket of wild plums. Our home was on the southwest forty of my great-grandparents’ farm, which had been sold off piecemeal after their deaths. The homestead was three blocks away from our house and belonged…
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Chokecherry Jelly

“Woof!” said the bear and raced north. “Woof!” said my mother as she ran south. My father thought it was funny. He loved telling the story of how Mom was so focused on picking blackberries that she didn’t notice the black bear eating berries in the same patch. The bear was also oblivious to my…
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