There's one thing that I like about where I'm living - fruit grows. I have grapes in the front yard and Blackberries in the back. The grapes need to be tended too otherwise the fruit never grows but obviously because of the weed status of Blackberry bushes I have to do nothing to keep them alive. The grapes aren't quite ready yet although I did eat a few today. The Blackberries have been ripe for a couple of weeks and currently I'm pulling about 2 lbs of berries off the plants in my back yard per day (which equals 5 half pints of jam). That 2 lbs has been put to good use by becoming Jam and Syrup. So far the jam has been good and I only say good because of it being compared in my mind with the Blackberry syrup which is wonderful. After I harvest tomorrow I'll make Blackberry jelly. Even though I've only given the Blackberry Jam a "good" rating it's heads above the stuff you get in the store.
I love Blackberry Jam but after cooking the berries down and straining them for syrup the juice was so pretty that I can't resist making jelly too. I use no commercial pectin so the ingredients list goes something like this - Blackberries, Cane Suger. The recipe for syrup is way more complicated - Blackberries, suger, lemon juice, vanilla. I like the syrup so much that I may use the same formula to make the jelly but throw an apple core in a cheese cloth bag in there to provide the pectin. Also I picked them a bit firm so I can capitalize on the extra pectin that pre-ripe blackberries have.
After I have enough jam and jelly to last the winter I'm going to turn my attention to Blackberry Vinaigrette and if the season lasts long enough I may try my hand at Blackberry Wine that I see at the Ballard Farmers Market. The wine will take about a year to rack and age so I'll be able to use it this time next year. Two days worth of berries will make one 750 ml bottle of wine. What I really have in mind for the wine is to make full bodied Blackberry wine reduction sauces for duck and steaks.