Canning, Recipes

Mulberry Jam

I saw a tree in our yard with berries on it when I was giving Brian his weekly tour of the garden. (He humors me and I love him for it). I was pretty excited when I noticed the berries — also surprised that I’d never noticed them before! So, even through Brian said they were probably poisonous, I did some research (thanks, Eddie!) and discovered they were mulberries.

Mulberry Tree

You can imagine my delight when I realized that 1. the berries weren’t poisonous and 2. I had even more fruit growing in my yard! I quickly tried one and they were delicious. Mulberries taste similar to blackberries, just a little less sweet and tart.

Mulberry

Over the course of the week I went out and picked the ripe berries (they turn black when they are ripe). When I had enough berries, I started searching for a recipe for jam. I found a recipe that called for berries, sugar and lemon juice (no pectin) from Claire K Creations. I didn’t have quite as many berries as the recipes called for, but was able to tweak the measurements to work.

Mulberries

First, I had to pull off the green stems. That only took half an hour haha. Then, I mashed them down a bit to release some of the berry juices.

Mulberries Cooking

Even though I didn’t have enough berries, I saw that Claire uses equal parts sugar to berries, so I weighed my berries on my food scale and then weighed out the same amount in sugar. Then, I followed Claire’s instructions. First, I brought the berries to a boil. Then, I added the sugar and lemon juice. I let everything come to a boil before reducing the heat and allowing the jam to thicken.

Mulberries boiling

When the jam was finished, I opted to put it in small mason jars, but not to can them. Truth is I ran out of the lids to seal the jars properly. So I popped all of the jam in the fridge to cool and thicken even more.

Mulberry Jam

I used 320 ML of berries and got three small mason jars and one 1-cup tupperware of jam. Not bad for berries I didn’t even know I had growing in my yard!

If you ever get the opportunity to make your own mulberry jam, not only is it super easy, it is also delicious. Make sure you check out Claire K’s Creations for other yummy recipes!

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Garden

Booming garden

Mary, Mary, quite contrary — how does your garden grow?

Well, I dunno about Mary, but my garden is growing splendidly. I am so pleased that my berries are doing so well. And my tomato plants have green tomatoes on them 🙂

Anyone else having a good year with their garden?

Craft Projects

A wreath for Mom

My Momma has a large, blank canvas (literally) covering her electrical box in her basement. It’s painted the same color as the walls so it blends in, but it was so empty and screaming for some sort of decoration. At Christmas, Mom puts a wreath on the canvas. So I said, why not make a wreath for the rest of the year?

So Momma and I headed to Michaels today to pick out supplies for her wreath. We got a grapevine wreath, lots of flowers, a wreath hanger and green wire.

Then I got down to business.

I set the wreath on the floor and started to plan out how I would place the flowers. We picked purple and green hydrangea, purple orchids, some big white flowers, and a few purple vines. After planning out my arrangement, I got to setting the flowers on the wreath.

I started with the strand of orchids, cutting the extra wire down and placing it into the wreath. Once the orchid was stuck through the grapevine, I flipped over the wreath and tied the orchids to it with green floral wire. I tied the orchids in several spots, curving them along the natural cure of the wreath.

Then, I added the green hydrangea, two white flowers and one purple flower.

Once my big-ticket flowers were on the wreath, I started to play around with the vines. I wanted to carry the flowers around more of the wreath, so I started weaving the vines in and our of the grape vines. I used two different types of faux vine, both with purple accents. I then cut up the purple hydrangea and added it to other parts of the wreath. I secured all of the flowers with floral wire or hot glue. The large flowers I used both, and the small hydrangea buds I used only glue.

Then, I drove the wreath over to Mom’s house. I am going over for dinner tomorrow night, but I couldn’t wait to show her what I made so soon after we bought the supplies — overall, this wreath took me about 45 minutes to make! Not too bad.

We took the wreath down to her basement, and it looked perfect.

Ready to see the whole wreath!?!?!

 

That’s it! I’m quitting my job and becoming a professional wreath maker. So much fun! Too bad they are pricey to make (the base alone was $9… dang.).

Lurv itttttt.