Blackberry Jam

On Wednesday one of the HE moms in the area had organized a woodland walk not too far from her house. Michael felt like coming along, so he took the day off. He and Hazel packed the lunch, and I had one of those easy mornings getting ready.

We hadn’t realized there was a little wood in her town, so enjoyed finding a hidden gem. The idea was to use the Nature Detectives tree sheet to see if all the trees were in the wood. I have no idea if they were as Hazel didn’t seem to want much help, so we all just wandered and chatted through the wood. I saw a few plants I’d never seen before: Lords and ladies plant and a Sloe plant. You just never know when you’re going to learn something new!

The walk was pleasant and then we had a picnic lunch and chatted about all the usual HE things. I mentioned to H that Hazel had been picking blackberries and when I asked her why she was picking so many, she just said it was because she and I were making jam. Now-it is something I’ve wanted to try for awhile now. I had even gone so far as to buy the jars two years ago-just hadn’t gotten the ‘nerve’ to make it. I know-it’s not all that scary-but when you’re a novice, all this stuff seems overwhelming. I was worried about the sterilization process the most. But H calmed all my nerves! She said it’s so easy, you just wash them and pop them in the oven!

So, the very next morning we made some! Unfortunately some of the berries Hazel had picked weren’t up to par as I’d hesitated, but we still had about 12oz’s, so I figured it was a small enough batch to experiment with. I washed the jars and popped them in the oven-then had a panic over the lids. Everyone always just talks about the jars! So-I just popped them in the oven as well!

We had a great time making it. Or should I say-Hazel had a great time making it, I just supervised. Or at least that’s what I was told afterwards!! Needless to say-we were both very happy with the end product, and it was delicious! We let it cool and had some after dinner.

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After we made the jam the kids decided to play camping in the back garden. They decided they needed to practice in case we ever go. They decided to make it as real as possible. They had sponge baths using a little wash tub, they got dressed & undressed outside, put their clothes on the washing line, built a fire and made tea on it, and basically had a blast playing that all afternoon!

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This is Hazel making a jam snack for everyone before we headed off to Science Oxford.

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The talk tonight was ‘Staring at the Sun’ and was presented by this very charismatic speaker, Dr. Chris Davis. They’ve put two satellites into orbit that take pictures, in stereo, of the sun, etc… from the two angles simultaneously. Needless to say the project is called ‘STEREO’. It has given them so many new insights into the sun, which as usual was interesting. Another great talk.

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