Jam day and a pickle preview

Berry jam setting up

Berry jam setting up

I love berry season.  We’ve planted a bunch of berries in our yard.  We have strawberries (June bearing, everbearing, and red and white alpines), blueberries (eight youngish plants), and raspberries (two new raised beds).  Because most of our berries are young plants, we don’t have huge harvests yet.  The kids constantly eat them right off the bush, too, so I’m not yet able to pick enough berries to make into jam.  As such, we bought berries from the Woodinville Farmer’s Market this weekend specifically to make jam.  I like making freezer jam because it’s quick and easy and really retains the natural berry flavor.  Above you can see the two types of jam we made, blueberry and blueberry/raspberry mixed. Yum!

Boothbys Blonde and Alibi cukes

Boothby's Blonde and Alibi cukes

Cucumbers were the inspiration for building the  greenhouse. I love cucumbers.  And cucumbers love heat.  Seattle doesn’t typically have a lot of summer heat, so growing cucumbers here has been a challenge. With the greenhouse in place, I’m doing most of the cucumber (and tomato and pepper) growing there and so far the results are great! Here you can see a Boothbys Blonde cucumber as well as an Alibi pickling cucumber.

Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving

Speaking of pickles, the cucumbers have really just begun producing fruit, so I don’t have enough yet to pickle, but I have started thinking about what I’ll do when I start getting heavier yields so I started paging through the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving this weekend.  I think I’ll try making both dill and bread and butter pickles this year. If anyone has any favorite recipes to share or pickling tips, please send them my way!



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4 Responses to Jam day and a pickle preview

  1. Jeff J. says:

    Do you have zucchini? My aunt used to make zucchini relish and it was great for burgers and hot dogs.

  2. Hi Jeff. I only planted one zucchini plant this year – it’s a different, round variety – because I don’t use it fast enough. I’m the only one in the house who will eat it. One plant will keep me busy with some grilling and for making breads. Haven’t heard of zucchini relish but is does sound interesting!

  3. KitsapFG says:

    The cukes look really good Sandy (as does the yummy jam!). I was just reading through my canning/preserving books too! Giving some thought as to what I want to do with various crops that are going to be inundating me shortly – beans first, then tomatoes and cukes. I will DEFINITELY be making the dill pickle relish again this year. Huge hit last year and we are eating on the last pint jar right now. I am also on the look out for a really good dill pickle recipe – as I am unsatisfied with the ones I made year before last (did not do any pickles last year – just relish due to a poor crop year). So I will be interested in any recipes that are recommended.

    I highly recommend the dill pickle relish recipe – it is in the ball blue book of canning. I posted a series of step by step photos about making it in my “preserving” photo gallery last year.

  4. Mom says:

    Sandy, how does the flavor of Boothby’s Blonde compare with lemon cukes?

    Somewhere I have a good relish recipe that uses zucchini (if you end up with too many).

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