We have had a lot of blackberries in the fridge since last weekend, and it was time I didn't something more permanent with them. First order of business was to make more jam. I'd crushed 5 cups worth when we picked them, but didn't have time to do anything with them all week. I had ordred a food mill/sauce maker last week and it arrived yesterday. I decided to give it a shot with the jam. My plan was to use it for half the berries and use crushed berries for the other half. I ran most of my crushed berries through the mill and it produced about half the sauce as I had expected. So I added more berries until I had enough. With the exception of one minor accident due to my poor first attempt to attach the mill to the counter top (that caused much of the highly staining liquid to splatter!), it went well.
When I had enough sauce, I made jam using the same recipe I'd used the first time. It made 5 pints of seedless jam. All 5 jars sealed perfectly and they are quietly resting in the pantry downstairs.
Then I set about using the balance of the berries. I pulled out a blackberry crisp recipe that I'd saved. It was super easy to make and it tasted absolutely amazing!
We worked together to harvest the last of the apples off the tree that has been dropping them like crazy. We picked about a bushel's worth. I set about sorting them and about 2/3rds of them went into the basement for storage for now. The last third is going to go towards applesauce. As soon as I have time, I'll give applesauce a shot. I may wait until I get more of another type of apple, but we'll see. This tree was the one of all of them with the least amount of apples, so we will be up to our ears, eventually. And the pears? We have way, way, way more of those!
Yesterday, we had the guy from the siding company by again. We signed the paperwork and got ourselves on the schedule. I'll have an official date sometime this week, but we expect it to be about 2 or 3 weeks. When I knew that the guy was coming over, it served as a catalyst to move 'cleaning the house' higher on my priority list. I felt like I'd really accomplished something when both bathrooms and the living room were spotless. I love having a clean house!
Oh, one last little update - I MADE YOGURT!! Yes, you read that right. I successfully made yogurt this morning! I actually followed the same procedure I'd tried one other time, but for whatever reason, it worked today. The bad news? I didn't like it much. Figures, huh? I decided to make yogurt cheese out of it. I strained it through my cheese cloth and then threw it in the fridge. I'm going to mix in some garlic and chives and make a cheese spread out of it.