Okay, our blackberry crop is officially spectacular. I'm seriously going to try to make blackberry jam, God help me. In the next couple days I'm going to buy some jam jars and pectin. Anyone have any vital hints or tips I should know about the undertaking before I start?
namaah_darling gave me a glowing review of my chapbook Inspirations End/Still My Beating Heart:
"these two vampire short stories are beautifully written and darkly unsettling, each with a twist on accepted conventions that makes them at once familiar and new . . . Beautiful, and recommended."
Squee! Made my day.
New Words: +300, -200
Did a massive rewrite of the first part of the folktale as I realized it was too wordy and taking far too long to get to the action, a luxury I can't afford to indulge in on a 2-3K work. There was much trimming, streamlining, and brainstorming. And also did some just-in-time research.
Club 100 For Writers
I sterilize my glass jars, lids & bands in the dishwasher, and just keep the dw door shut until I'm ready to start packing the jars. :)
Make sure to have hot soapy water on hand for cleanup. And I usually make some homemade biscuits while I'm waiting for the jam to cool and set. Mmmm.
Uh...I'm the oroduct of country cooks - I don't use a recipe. You just use as much flour as you need, and a spoonful less of shortening than you think you need. Then add milk till its almost too sticky to work, then pat it out and cut your biscuits w/a juice glass.
You probably don't find that a bit helpful.
proper sterilization is most important. Use HOT water for everything but the lids...the water will melt the seal. use 3 drops of Clorox bleach to 1 gallon of water to sterilize the lids. Alton Brown has a section on canning and jam making in his book. He does the Good Eats series.