We have a problem with invasive Himalayan blackberries in my area. They are awful, aggressive beastly creatures with giant thorns as big as lion claws. But for a small part of the year, the invasive bramble bushes lay out heavy loads of fat, juicy berries. For a few sweet weeks, the hacking, weed-wacker, stickerbush, bleeding scratchy battle pauses, and you can make jam.
Some dear friends visited this weekend, and we wandered around the neighborhood and collected a gallon of fat, juicy blackberries. Some of them were so ripe they exploded in your hand before they ever touched the bucket. We’re lucky to live in a neighborhood with so many feral, wild pockets unregulated by human concerns.
We brought our treasure home, and mixed it with an ungodly amount of sugar. Following a recipe from this book, we boiled it. The Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving is one of the most important books in our kitchen now. And, honestly, I over-boiled the jam and it made a giant mess on the stove. Jen licked it up and declared it “Delicious!”