Is it Jam Yet?

It’s boysenberry season and the canes are in full  production. My pitiful backyard boysenberry thicket produced maybe two full cups of berries, so I had to raid a friend’s garden today. I picked eight cups, enough for jam and maybe a buckle if I’m lucky.

I like to wash my boysenberries and stand them upright to dry. They freeze better that way. It also helps me to organize them according to ripeness, size, and overall appeal. The best jam is made from perfectly ripe berries, which are more black than red and feel heavy in hand.  I save the more reddish ones for buckle.  The very small ones sometimes go into ice cream or oatmeal if they aren’t otherwise perfectly ripe. I can sit and organize boysenberries all day, but there are jars to sterilize and jam to make. It’s time to get busy.

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