It’s berry season up in the mountains. This is the beginning of berry harvesting time! The berries are ripening on the vines and starting to find their way into our kitchens. The current berry crops include fresh red raspberries, black raspberries, wild strawberries. Soon there will be blackberries, blueberries, and also cranberries in abundance. Berries are a treat as well as very good for you. They are high in vitamin C and antioxidants. During berry season they are less expensive and easier to find than any time of the year. You can find them locally and pick your own or they are readily available at the farmers market or grocery store. Make jams, jellies and preserves and fill your cellar shelves full or just store them in the freezer to enjoy during the cold winter.
I love the colors and the textures of the different berries. Shades of Passionate Purple, Vitruvius Blue, and Red Hot Momma (all American Journey colors of course) are all found among these sumptuous favorites. Mason jars of jellies and jams displayed on a window sill with the sun filtering through creating wonderful glowing colors have always been a favorite subject among watercolorist. It is very challenging to create the layers of watercolor to achieve the luminosity and textures of the jams.
One of my favorite recipes for any kind of berry is an old fashioned Hot Jam. This yummy delight is very simple and can be used as a topping for toast, pancakes, pound cake, ice cream, french toast or anything else you want to “Jam” up.
Old Fashioned Hot Jam
- 1 cup crushed berries (whatever is in season)
- ¼ cup of water
- 1 tbsp of corn starch mixed with a little water to liquefy
- ¼ cup of sugar or more to taste
Heat above ingredients slowly in a small pot. Cook until thickened. Serve hot!
Go out and take full advantage of this wonderful season. Whether you are an artist or just looking for a wonderful treat, this is the time of the year to find lots of succulent berries just hanging around waiting for you to pick them!