Blueberries in Oxford
Food & Drink, Uncategorized

#679 Make Jam from Handpicked Berries

This item on my bucket list was inspired by my friend Kaitlin, who when asked about her hobbies will proudly boast about her jam making abilities. After listening to her speak about how fun and easy the jam making process is, I thought I’d put in on my bucket list. 

Following my trip to Oxford, Nova Scotia, I returned home with a few pounds of blueberries. Oxford is the blueberry capital of Canada and has a giant blueberry at the local gas station to prove it. The area is home to many blueberry farmers who amass acres of land to grow the berries. There are also many wild patches and U-pick farms that allow the public to pick their own berries. 

Blueberries in Oxford

I was in town to stay at a friend’s cottage for the weekend. He had grown up in the area and of course owned a few blueberry rakes. The blueberries in this area are much smaller than the ones you would buy at the grocery store, and it would take forever to pick all of the tiny berries off of the bush. Instead, they use rakes that brush through the bushes and collect all of the berries in a reservoir. It took us only a few minutes to get a few pounds of blueberries; the only downside was that you get a whole lot of leaves (and sometimes bugs) mixed in with the berries. 

Picking blueberries in Oxford

The time saved using our rakes was negated by the afternoon I spent watching TV and sorting my berries to ensure I wouldn’t find any surprises in my jam. After a few hours and blue stained fingers later, I was finally ready to make the jam.

If you’re making many jars of jam, you can sterilize your jars and suction seal them to ensure that they’ll have a shelf life of a few months. I had saved a lot of my blueberries for smoothies, so was only planning on making 2 jams of jam. I didn’t go through with that process as I was pretty confident I could finish 2 jars in a few weeks. The actual jam making process was pretty easy, and just consisted of the berries, sugar, lemon juice, and pectin. It took about an hour to boil down the berries and get it to thicken so I could put it in the jars. I was shocked by how much sugar was needed to make jam; it definitely isn’t a healthy option. 

My blueberry jam was fantastic; everything always tastes better when you make it yourself. It was especially delicious on some vanilla yogurt with a little sprinkle of cinnamon. 

Handmade blueberry jam

Comment down below if you want to hear more about my cooking adventures. 

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