It’s almost July, the moon just started another cycle, and the serviceberries are ripe and ready for picking!
I went out for about an hour on Friday and picked from a good half a dozen trees (along Preston St, mostly) that were mostly almost-but-not-quite ripe. By Saturday evening, the trees in Dundonald Park and along Glouchester St were already dropping over-ripe berries. I’ll be going out again in the next 36 hours to see if I can’t harvest a Big Heap of berries to put in the (chest) freezer. I figure if I keep that up every couple of days, I’ll have a good store of frozen fruit to get me started on the rest of the year.
Last year, I made something like three litres of serviceberry jam, and 2-4L frozen serviceberries. So Somewhere between one and two gallons of fruit, harvested over a couple of weeks from something like a dozen+ different trees in my neighbourhood. I’m hoping to duplicate that (or up it) this year but, rather than putting half (or more) of my harvest into jam, I’d like to stick mostly to freezing it. With the chest freezer, I’ve got the added space necessary to do stuff like that, and it’ll mean that I’m preserving fruit without adding a big bucket of sugar to the mix.
Here’s hoping that Hidden Harvest Ottawa has a few picks active in my area that I can get in on, as well, because Free Fruit is always helpful. 🙂
Meliad the Birch Maiden.
 Yeah. Here’s the thing: Water-bath-canning is wonderful, when you have more shelf-space than fridge space and/or when rolling black-outs are a concern in your area. BUT I find that fruit butters are a lot more versatile (and have better binding ability when used in baked goods), have a lower sugar content (rather than 1:1 sugar to fruit, your starting point is more like 1:16 which boils down (literally) to about 1:4), and a really velvety texture than jam typically doesn’t have. I really appreciate having the option of freezing a LOT of something, when it’s available, though, because that gives me just the fruit or just the veggies, without having to change up their flavour or texture too much with pickling or sweet-preserving them.
 Plus I’ve basically got it through my head that I can use jam in lieu of sugar, pretty much at a 1:1 ratio, in any baked good, so it’s not like I’m stuck going “how much toast am I going to eat, really??”
 You just have to remember to cut down the Wet Stuff content (less oil, less sour milk, fewer eggs, that kind of thing) or up the Dry Stuff content (usually this means adding half a cup of flour or flour-like-substance… it typically works out fine).
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