Pioneer Woman at Heart

One Flourishing, Frugal and Fun Family!

One family learning to live off the land, cut back on expenses, and to live a simpler and a more self-sufficient lifestyle.

Adopted Motto

"Eat it up,
Wear it out,
Make it do,
Or go without."
~A Pioneer Sampler, by Barbara Greenwood~

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Serviceberry Jam ~ Big Purge

Most people I have talked to, do not know what a serviceberry is.  It's almost like a mini-blueberry, but starts out looking like a mini-cherry.  It has the flavor of a blueberry, and is, what I call, seedy.

All the recipes for serviceberry jam, that I could find on the internet, used a large portion of these berries.  If you've picked them, you know it takes a lot of picking to get even a few cups.

My16 year-old and I stopped at Mom's house.  She has a tree in her yard, and the berries are on for about 2 weeks.  The birds already discovered them, so we got out the ladders and started picking. 

With no luck on a small-batch recipe, I decided to make a batch using my Ball jam maker.  They do not give you a recipe for blueberry jam, but I have made it before, using the "Berry Jam" recipe. 

I decided to take a chance and make it with that "Ball" recipe, and used the jam making machine.  This machine produces small batch jams that typically fill only 4 half-pint jars.

Ta-Da!  My first, ever, serviceberry jam. We'll get to taste it today.  It smelled very good when I was making it.  I may have to plant about 5-6 of these trees.  You can make mead and wine, bake pies with them, and so forth.  We can't grow blueberries here, so this would be a nice substitute.  These berries are very small, have large seeds, and very little "juice" to them.

The Big Purge:

Not to waste a trip to the "big city" I went into my garage and pulled out about a dozen vintage, and very old suitcases.  We were putting smaller ones into larger ones, and packed my car full. Those were all donated to the thrift store.  When we arrived home, I spied two more that we forgot, so I'll be packing up another pile for the next trip.

Weeding has started.  Before canning, I had a date with the zucchini, potatoes, and pea fence.  Oye, the pinto beans, onions are next.  We are doing a much better weed patrol this year, but then again, we can actually get into it. 

We also planted differently, using the garden fabric vs. all plastic.  I used black plastic for the hot peppers, as they like it hot, and the plastic heats up in the sun. For most of the garden, we used the fabric, and put dirt over it, and cut holes for the seeds.  I also made slits into the garden fabric, and planted the greens to avoid the grass.  So far the kale looks great.  The chard and collards went into raised beds (covered with chicken wire this time).

I am pretty sure I saw visions of thistle in my head while sleeping last night.  Last year, we just mowed it all down.

And today?  It looks like rain actually might arriveThe garden is very parched and could use a good watering from Mother Nature.  Rain is very overdue in our parts.


Mama Pea said...

Do you think the seeds in the serviceberry jam will be objectionable? I love homemade raspberry jam but someone (in this household)complains every time I put it out because he doesn't like the seeds. From your picture, it looks like the seeds in your jam might be even bigger than that in raspberry jam??

Kristina said...

Mama Pea, we haven't tried it yet today, but I am assuming that they won't like the seeds. If I had 5-6 trees I could make jelly, but the berries are so tiny. Hm. Not sure about this yet. I'll get the best taste test reaction from Hubby. He likes seeds in his wild black raspberry.

Nancy @ Little Homestead In Boise said...

We grown service berries here for several years. We just eat them ripe, smaller seeds than raspberries here. We never have enough to do much with. I'm thinking about digging it up next spring. For us it's not worth the low yield. If we had acreage I'd grow more. I always get a lot more chokecherries, they make amazing jelly! Very citrusy.

Kristina said...

Little Homestead, the seeds in these berries are pretty big. One kiddo already told me she won't eat it. The seeds get stuck in her teeth.

RockWhisperer said...

If you have a cone sieve, you could cook those serviceberries with just enough water to keep them from sticking until they can release their juices, then sieve out the seeds. I do that for blackberries as I don't like all those seeds in the jam.

Kristina said...

llene Jones, thank you for that tip.