Merry, Merry UnBirthday To You

We’re a bit late starting this blog. I had hoped to get the skeleton done by Alex’s birthday, but well, not everything works out. But hey, here’s a quick summary of our first taste in canning, baking, and foraging all in one day.

There’s a small, wooded field near our house that has wild dewberries growing just at its edges. Dewberries are edible and have been used to make jams, jellies, and even dewberry cobbler. Also called wild blackberries, dewberries differ from blackberries in that their ground-covering vines are much thornier. Further, the berries are smaller in size than blackberries. Either way, they’re really yummy to eat off the vine!

I managed to pick about a quart of berries, just enough for a jam recipe I was experimenting with. The recipe called for a lot more sugar than I had anticipated, so I did have to tweak the recipe I provided below. Regardless, this was a good first step in learning how to can goods. Even though I was so, so badly prepared. Sure, I had the mason jars, the dewberries, sugar, pectin… But no double boiler. Or good tongs. Or oven mitts. I made the jam before my jars were disinfected, that set me behind by a lot. In the end, I ended up rigging a pot of water to place my jam in and after sitting for the allotted time, heard that sweet pop as the jars sealed.

I followed this Youtube recipe: How to Make Easy Blackberry Jam Recipe (with Jackson)

As they cooled, I went ahead and made Alex’s birthday crepe cake, but with dewberries NOT strawberries: Strawberry Crepe Cake Layered With Strawberries.

I’m trying to move away from box mix cake, so I decided to make this crepe cake instead, with dewberry jam and whipped cream. It was a hit at Alex’s tiny party and even my mom came back for seconds. That’s saying a lot because the crepes were whole-grain and my family has a preference for enriched white flour.

The most work I put into this was a little time at the stove, a quick trip to Walmart, and I will admit, we also had some delicious local beers. I only made it harder for myself by not having the right equipment at the time. So, for next time sure, I’m going to have invested some money in preparing a good canning station. This whole process was a good way to gauge how much I have learned and further if I could even apply my knowledge to create some yummy results.

Happy Birthday again to Alex and Merry Unbirthday to you!

 

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