Sunday, July 24, 2011

Enjoying Summer/Blueberry Picking

This summer has been flying by!  We are having so much fun.  I just finished co-hosting a bridal shower for my youngest sister this past weekend, so I was very busy planning, shopping, and cooking for most of July (watch for an upcoming post on the shower, including a recipe or two).  I almost felt like I was back at The Secret Chef!  The boys and I did manage to squeeze in some more berry picking (and eating), between the shower planning.  We discovered a place called Wildemoore Farm, which is a true local treasure!  And I finally perfected my No Sugar Added Jam recipe (scroll to the bottom of the post for the recipe).

Wildemoore Farm is located in Chalfont, off of Upper Stump Road.  It is a very small family farm, and each summer they open up for pick your own blueberries, sour cherries, raspberries, and a few other things.  They do not have a website, but you can call the answering machine to find out if they are open for picking (215-249-3683).  The family is so nice, and the blueberries were only $2 per pound if you picked four or more pounds! That is an incredible price.  I found a pound of blueberries to be a little less than a quart. If you picked less than four pounds, they were $2.50 per pound.  It was very enjoyable picking.  The berries were plentiful, especially at the beginning of the season, and they mow the grass between the bushes.  Also, we were told that they are "low spray".  They spray the ground once at the beginning of the year, but do not spray the bushes or berries at all.

 The boys thought my sun hat was hilarious!

They played in the grass next to me while I picked blueberries....
 ... until they decided to escape and I had to chase after them and put them back in the stroller!

Some of our yummy blueberries:

The Wildemoore's beautiful flower garden:

Sadly, the blueberry picking is over for this year at Wildemoore Farm, however, you can check for other farms near you.  I hear Solebury Orchard still has blueberries (see this post for info on Solebury Orchard).

Now, for my No Sugar Added Mixed Berry Freezer Jam recipe.  As you can see from the picture below, my boys love it!  I think my original mistake was trying to use only strawberries.  I heard strawberries are one of the fruits that are naturally lower in pectin.  This time I used a mixture of berries.  I also cut the honey down to only 1/3 cup, and cooked the jam for a short period of time, even though freezer jams are typically not cooked.  It set perfectly.  It is definitely less sweet than regular jam, but we love it, and I feel better about feeding it to my children.

No Sugar Added Mixed Berry Freezer Jam
 1 cup mashed strawberries
1 cup mashed blueberries
1 cup mashed raspberries
1 3/4 cups no sugar added mixed berry juice (or no sugar added apple juice)
1 Tbs. lemon juice
1 box NO SUGAR NEEDED pectin
1/3 cup honey

1.  Mash fruit.
2.  Pour lemon juice and berry juice into sauce pan.  Gradually stir in pectin and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.  Boil and stir one minute.
3.  Add fruit and stir while bringing back to a boil.  Boil and stir one more minute and remove from heat. 
4.  Pour into freezer containers.  (Unfortunately, I forgot to jot down how many containers I filled using this recipe... and we've already eaten several containers, so now I am not sure.  I think I filled five 8 oz. containers, probably somewhere around there). 

Keeps up to three weeks in the refrigerator or six months in the freezer.   Enjoy!