You may have noticed it’s been a bit sparse around here this summer. Last July and August you and I shared a locavore moment every few days. This summer. Not so much. Despite my best intentions (and my wild attempts at planning), the past few months have been the complete opposite. New work responsibilities, a ton of weddings and events, and a major “lose all that local food weight you’ve added to your rear-end” campaign turned this summer from lazy days into some of the longest to-do lists of my life. By last week Friday, I hadn’t blogged in over a week. I was behind on hours at work, behind on writing assignments but loathing the thought of doing either. When we climbed in the car after a long week of work I had solidly hit my breaking point. We were on our way to one of my closest high school friend’s wedding in Madison, Wisconsin. Overwhelmed and completely burned out, I even snapped at the kitchen partner for asking the hotel concierge if we had to move the car out of overnight parking in the morning.
Thankfully, wedding days are a good reminder about what’s most important. The best ones make you head home and try a little harder. Be a better friend. Be a better wife. Remember what’s important. I sat in the pew at the ceremony thinking about how life doesn’t have a rewind button. I can’t change how busy and stressful this summer has been. I can’t take back the eye roll and snarky comment I gave the kitchen partner for asking about the parking. I can’t take back the wasted time on Facebook, the whining about jobs and graduate schools, the time I missed with family and friends. Maya Angelou once wrote, “If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude. Don’t complain.”
It’s four days later and I’m still living in the “If you don’t like it. Change it.” mode. Monday came and I really wanted to cook and write more. There’s a fridge full of food and two blog posts finished already. That’s half of what I accomplished in the first three weeks of August. I took the morning off work today to get a haircut, go to the gym, and not stress about what I wasn’t getting done. That’s more than I can say for all of July.
Now I’m finally writing a post about blueberry freezer jam that’s been on my to-do list since I made the batch the second week of July. I thought it was time to share it. I should’ve titled it “Freezer Jam: An Ode to not putting things off anymore.” If I want the time to write again, I’m going to have to stop wishing for it and just start doing it. This freezer jam is one of the few things I made from scratch all summer, but one of the best I’ve ever done. Thanks to Covered Bridge Farm in Forest Lake for the berries. And thanks to the new bride and groom for the reminder of what’s most important!
Blueberry Freezer Jam
3 1/3 cups fresh blueberries
1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
4 Tbsp. Ball Instant Pectin for no-cook freezer jam
1. Wash and remove any stems or debris from the berries. Using a potato or fruit masher, crush the berries 1 cup at a time until they form a thick liquid. Set aside.
2. Clean and sterilize 4 half pint or 2 pint freezer jars and lids. Place on a cookie sheet near your workspace for easy clean-up and transportation of finished jars.
3. In a large mixing bowl, stir together sugar and pectin. It’s important that the pectin is evenly distributed to avoid any chunks or runny areas in the jam. Add in blueberries and stir constantly for 3 minutes.
4. Pour jam into freezer jars, being sure to leave at least 1/2 inch head space for freezing. Let stand for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Refrigerate and eat fresh or freeze for up to one year.
If you’d like more details, watch my Strawberry Freezer Jam video from 20Food.net