First taste of homemade blackberry jam on toast

I picked enough blackberries from the bushes in our yard to make my annual batch of blackberry jam.  I use a recipe given to me by my friend and colleague, Shirley, who has perfected her jam-making talents over the many years I’ve worked with her.  Everyone at work looks forward to Christmas when Shirley gives each of us a jar of her homemade blackberry jam — a welcome taste of summer!

I put my jam in the freezer, so I don’t worry about sealing the finished product.

Here’s Shirley’s recipe.

Mix in a large kettle:

  • 5 c mashed blackberries (okay to leave seeds in)
  • 1 box Sure-Jell
  • a little dab of butter or margarine

Cook on high until boiling, then add 5-1/2 c sugar all at once.  Cook on high until the jam comes to a full rolling boil, and then continue cooking for 1 minute more.  Remove from heat and ladle into sterilized jars.

Makes about 7 cups.

Lots of ripening Himalayan blackberries

Some of the vines had a single ripe berry at their tip!

Picked berries and stained fingers

Jars of jam

Pyramid of jam jars

Tasty bite








Simple Goodness

November 1, 2009


A simple breakfast


Everything Good is Simple
by Nikki Giovanni in Bicycles: Love Poems

Everything good is simple:  a soft-boiled egg . . . toast fresh from the
oven with a pat of butter swimming in the center . . . steam off a cup
of black coffee . . . John Coltrane bringing me “Violets for My Furs”

Most simple things are good:  Lines on a yellow legal pad . . . dimples
defining a smile . . . a square of gray cashmere that can be a scarf . . .
Miles Davis Kind of Blue

Some things clear are complicated:  believing in a religion . . . trying
to be a good person . . . getting rid of folk who depress you . . . Horace
Silver Blowing the Blues Away

Complicated things can be clear:  Dvorak’s New World Symphony . . .
Alvin Ailey’s Revelations . . . Mae Jamison’s ride in space . . . Mingus
Live at Carnegie Hall

All things good are good:  poetry . . . patience . . . a ripe tomato on the
vine . . . a bat in flight . . .  the new moon . . .  me in your arms . . .
things like that