This year I went a little bit overboard with the berry picking! It was awesome fun though to get out in the sun and pick so many berries knowing that come winter we’d have a whole bunch of options for fruit. I made a ton of jam (seriously, anyone wants to come by and get some jam I’ll have enough for a couple years) I made some blueberry pie filling, and froze a good number of the blueberries (sealed with my vacuum sealer). It’s so nice to have all these berries from the height of their season in my freezer and pantry! That’s my favorite part of homesteading, knowing that any time I have a craving for fresh berries all I need to do is open a can.
After having so much fun picking blueberries my mom and I decided to go for raspberries. There were a lot of options for farms but we ended up going down to South Haven and after a few wrong turns we ended up at Earl’s Farm Market. It was a gorgeous day, sunny and warm but not overly hot so we took our fun little picker bins and headed out to the raspberry fields. The farm had lots of options including blueberries, black raspberries, regular raspberries and strawberries. If you live in West Michigan it’s a great place to hit up for all your berry needs throughout the season.
We had a good time picking, especially since we had the field pretty much to ourselves and it didn’t take us long to get all our pint containers filled up and brought back to the checkout area. We investigated the ice cream situation and the other homemade goodies for sale (and enjoyed a cookie each) and were on our way home! My mom didn’t really want any berries for herself, she just kept me company so I was the proud owner of a couple dozen pints! That equalled a LOT of jam!
Raspberries weren’t quite as easy to wash as the blueberries because they had a tendency to become waterlogged if I let them soak. So I ended up doing a two part system, I would dump the berries into the wash, swish, and almost immediately pull out into the colander for a quick rinse. Since I was making the jam right away I put them straight into my big pot and started stirring.
I was trying to be more precise this time around, but making jam is still a pretty flexible system for me. Lots of sugar, acidity and some time with my immersion blender and then voila! Raspberry jam! This stuff tasted ssoo good! I jarred it up and it’s been living in my wonderful pantry since then, but I seriously have been running out of room and need to make room for other canned goods.
A couple of jars will be going out as Christmas presents just as they are, but I wanted to make something fun with this jam as well (seriously I have a lot of it) so I decided to make Raspberry Jam Muffins. You will get lots of compliments on these muffins and they’re quite fun to make. Whatever kind of jam you have on hand works, I also made a few with blueberry jam and those were a hit as well! It was a win with everyone at work and the cutest 3 year old! I can’t think of any higher compliments for a recipe.
- 1½ cup flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp nutmeg
- 1 egg beaten lightly
- ⅓ cup melted butter
- ½ cup sugar
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- ¾ cup milk
- Jam of your choice
- In one bowl mix together the dry ingredients.
- In a separate bowl mix together the wet.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir until just mixed.
- Fill muffin tins about ⅓ of the way full.
- Add a dollop of jam.
- Top with more muffin batter till cup is ⅔ full.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes at 375 degrees.