Sunday, August 2, 2009

I Can Make That....Berries Round 2

So what did you do on Friday night? Go out to dinner with friends? Meet a date for drinks? Catch Harry Potter on the big screen? Or anything more exciting than me? Probably. But I had a ball anyway.

Before I decided to freeze most of my berries, I was going to can pie fillings. I was worried that they would go to rot if I didn't do something with them. But then I froze them and that worked out just peachy keen. I still however, really wanted to try canning pie fillings.

I'd canned exactly twice before in my life. Once when I was a very little girl and visiting my grandmother. She had lots of raspberry bushes and on the way back of her property there were wild blackberry bushes. So we picked buckets of berries and made jam. I LOVED it! I've spent my entire life talking about that single day with my grandmother and aunt and cousins. The second time I canned was several years ago when I live in DC. Little and I made red pepper jelly and raspberry jam. They all popped but neither of them jelled. So in reality we made red pepper and red raspberry sauces. Some we used and I think eventually some we both threw away. There's only so much one can do with an endless supply of red pepper sauce.

So back to my Friday night. Realizing my less than solid canning history, I was now unwilling to possibly waste any of my freshly picked and currently frozen berries. Those are for eating just as God made them in all their berry perfection. So as I was also not wanting to spend a mint on this project that had a high probability of failing miserably, I came up with what I felt was a brilliant plan. Several weeks ago I popped into a Dollar Tree store for packing tape I think. And noticed that this particular store had a fairly large food section. Including about eight freezer/refrigerator cases in the back. I perused the case and saw bags of frozen mixed berries. I use berries for everything- smoothies, crumbles, and more. So I bought one bag to see what a bag of berries at the $1 store might be like. Turns out they are exactly the same as the $4 bag from the grocery store. So on Friday evening, I went back to that Dollar Tree to see if they had more frozen berries left. They did. I bought eight bags! My neighbor also gave me a bag of peaches from his tree that needed to be used immediately. So I set off to make more pie filling than I will ever use in a lifetime (I'm sure some will be given away at some point).

It took a rather long time. And made a mess about five times over. And required me to mop the floor on Saturday because of the mystery stickiness. (I hate mopping!) But the end result was very little $ spent (for sure less than I would spend on dinner out) and SIX huge jars of ready-to-use pie filling. They include; 1 jar of strawberry, 1 jar of blackberry-peach, 1 jar of blackberry-strawberry-peach, and 3 jars of blackberry-strawberry-blueberry. And guess what? They all popped!! I was so nervous that they would go to waste but they were all a success!! I'm thrilled to bits with my efforts. They look so pretty, too!

And this my friends is likely why I will be single for-flippin-ever!! Because I actually had a great time spending my Friday night in the kitchen canning berries. What the heck is wrong with me? Dear Lord, please bring me a man who likes pie!


Ashley Lauren said...

mmm blackberry blueberry strawberry sounds amazing!

Marilyn *Pink Martinis and Pearls* said...

O-M-Gosh! I am amazed at your culinary projects of late! I have never canned but am always thinking 'this summer' it's the tomatoes but it never happens. How fun to actually go to a berry farm and how beautiful it looked. I am so impressed with your skills and energy. Forever single? HA! Not a chance!! xoxo ;)

Lexilooo said...

those look so pretty! I've never tried canning seems like such a daunting task!

MissBliss said...

awwwe! i am very impressed! we were just hanging out and had a friend stop by in the middle of a romantic crisis! fortunately we were able to be there for him... other than that, just your relaxing friday! :)

What Kate Wore said...

Now Miss Crocodile, this is precisely the sort of Friday night fun we enjoyed sometimes at your age, so no worries about the man of your dreams never appearing because you enjoy this sort of thing. When the right one comes along he is going to be ecstatic to learn of your culinary skills!

Have a splendid Monday, hopefully the ebay twits will have responded by the time you see this!

Headbands and Hand Bags said...

Ok I am seriously impressed! You will not regret it in moths to come!

AEOT said...

Wowzers! I am super duper impressed with your skills. I just asked my mom if she would teach me how to can! Your pie fillings will be an amazing treat come this winter. And, trust me, any man worth his weight in gold will LOVE having you as his wifey! My hubby would snatch up a preppy, pie canning, adorable girl like you in a heartbeat (except that he's already taken by me!). His cousin (lives in Philly) is darling and single! Does that help?

Black Labs and Lilly said...

What a great idea to make and freeze the pie filling! I am sure it will be fabulous during the holiday season!


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