Blackberry jam

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?

Writing Stuff

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


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31 Responses to Blackberry jam

  1. Yay, for your glowing review! And good luck with your jam. 😉

    ~Maggie 🙂

  2. britzkrieg says:

    Anyone have any vital hints or tips I should know about the undertaking before I start?

    I have a book that deals with preserving fruits and veggies. Wanna borrow it?

    • Ditto. And practical experience with doing this stuff.

      Best advice I can give is to get a jar funnel if you don’t have one. Nothing sucks worse than getting burned by scalding hot syrup because you’re trying to freehand pour the crap into a jar.

    • Eugie Foster says:

      Thanks for the book offer, but I’m intimidated enough by the project. I fear an information overload. I’m availing myself of various Internet resources and already having second thoughts about the undertaking.

  3. harmonyfb says:

    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.

    Have fun!

    • Eugie Foster says:

      Homemade biscuits? That sounds incredibly yummy, but also rather tricky. I have, however, had baking experience, so, gotta recipe?

      • harmonyfb says:

        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.

        • Eugie Foster says:

          You probably don’t find that a bit helpful.

          Um, no. Alas. I think I’ll just cross off “bake homemade biscuits” from my fun-things-to-do-while-making-jam list . . .

  4. reudaly says:

    Don’t wear something you don’t want permanently stained with blackberry juice?

  5. bpeace says:


    Tip: Wear dark, dark clothes or already ruined ones.
    Hint: Send me some when it’s finished!!!

    • Eugie Foster says:

      Hint: Send me some when it’s finished!!!

      And risk poisoning you? I think not. Edible chemical experiments are done upon my person until I’ve established toxicity levels.

  6. nojojojo says:

    I know nothing about jam, but if you’re looking for other ideas, blackberry pie/cobbler is yummy too at this time of year. The simple version: pick the berries, wash the berries, toss them in a pot with butter and sugar, lemon juice and spices (cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg will do, though Chinese Five Spice powder is divine if you have it), simmer over low heat. Put some flour in a bowl, add enough juice from the cooked mixture to make a kind of slurry of the flour. Add this to the cooked stuff, mix well. Put it in a pie shell. (Use a slotted spoon if you want mostly fruit and little juice, or put it all in if you like; the flour will thicken it a bit during cooking either way. The leftover juice makes a nice syrup for pancakes, if you prefer.) Cut up another pie shell and lay across the top in strips. Cook on 350F for, I dunno, until the pie crust looks cooked. If you want to get fancy, make an eggwash for the pie crust and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.

    Same thing works for peaches or any other summer fruit, BTW. And if you want to make it a cobbler instead of a pie, use scone mix/dough instead of pie crust. I prefer cinnamon scone mix, but that’s up to you. Put some of the dough *in* the fruit mixture as dumplings, and the rest on top. Voila. =)

    • Eugie Foster says:

      I was thinking about a blackberry pie as an alternative. I have made homemade pies before, but inevitably I’m dissatisfied with them. They typically don’t have the kick of pies I can buy, which is depressing as all get out.

  7. aimeempayne says:

    It’s good luck to send a jar of jam to Ohio.


  8. I reccomend the Good Eats episode – Urban Preservation I: Jam Session.

  9. mtfay says:

    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.

  10. mtfay says:

    Use Starchild’s link…It’s to the Alton Brown stuff.

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