Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Blueberry Jam

No, this is not another apocalyptic manifesto; just a little (slightly ranty) observation about how we really have to buy a lot less stuff than we think.

I had a bunch of blueberries from 2009 in my freezer that I needed to deal with because they were getting a bit too stale to eat. After cleaning out the last jar of purchased jelly, I thought, hmmm...I prattle on a lot of about food sovereignty but I still buy a lot of stuff that I eat. Maybe it's time to make jam. I've made jam in the past, but being a lazy bum, I got out of the habit. And I *try* not to eat jam because it's not so good for my health, but I eat it anyway, so why not do it myself and make it low or no-sugar?

This past weekend I bought some jars and some pectin and some organic unrefined cane sugar--about $10 bucks worth of stuff, half of which can be reused. And on my lunch break today--feeling a bit inspired to do something other than answer emails, read proposals and revise papers, I found my canner, got out my blueberries and washed up the jars. The rest went a bit like this: heat blueberries, add sugar, boil, put in a jar, walk away. The acid in the blueberries and the sugar is more than enough to preserve the jam, and the jars seal themselves as they cool.

Making a year's worth of jam (at the rate I eat it anyway--about 1 pint/month) took approximately 20 minutes, and cost me less than a dollar a jar (the blueberries were free). My jam tastes like heaven (I must say) and only has 3 grams of carbohydrates per tablespoon--4-5 times less than many store bought varieties, and has no corn syrup or other nasty additives. I'm going to try it with honey and without pectin when the honey harvest comes in June. I am surprised (again) at how easy this whole DIY thing is---and that kind of makes me mad.

WHY on earth do we buy stuff? Who has hoodwinked us into believing that we can't do this ourselves, and in the process takes our money, robs us of our health and leaves us without the skills we need to fend for ourselves? It's time to take it all back!

Food sovereignty now!


  1. Last season I made blueberry, strawberry, fig, and plum jams. It all came out so good (even if the strawberry jam's a bit runny). Haven't been able to eat it nearly fast enough, and I keep giving away jars as little gifts here and there. Inspired by your 2009 peach canning session, I intended to can peaches last summer, but the season slipped past me.

    This year...