One of my favorite things to do in summer is to go foraging for berries in the forest with my husband. My in-laws live out in the woods, so we usually park our car in their driveway and trek down to the creek to spend the day searching for whatever happens to be in season.
Because the weather has been so warm in the pacific northwest this year, the salmonberries and huckleberries were out a little early, and we were able to harvest enough for a decent batch of jam. As a ‘thank you’ to my husband’s family for letting us play in the woods, I’ve decided to make little gift baskets with mini-sized jars of the jams made from the berries. In each basket, there’s one little jar of huckleberry jam, one jar of salmonberry jelly, and I’ve thrown in a jar of homemade rose jam made from the roses growing in my yard as well. All three recipes are super tasty and packed with unexpected flavors:
1. Rose Jam
- ½ pound pink or red edible rose petals
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 4½ cups water
- Juice of 2 freshly-squeezed lemons
- Carefully rinse the rose petals, making sure to discard any that are brown. Sprinkle ½ cup of the sugar and all of the freshly squeezed lemon juice over the petals and massage with your hands until they have wilted, and their aroma and juices have been released.
- Place the remaining 1½ cup of sugar in a medium saucepan with the water and bring to a boil. Add the rose petal mixture to the boiling water, and allow mixture to come back to a boil. Let simmer for 20 minutes, or until the jam coats the back of a spoon.
- Pour into sterilized jars and seal with sterile lids and bands. Store in the refrigerator for up to a month.
2. Salmonberry Jelly
- 4 cups salmonberries
- 2⅔ cups sugar
- Juice of one lemon, freshly squeezed
- Pinch of cinnamon
- In a large saucepan, combine the salmonberries, sugar, lemon juice and cinnamon over medium-high heat. Stir until mixture starts to boil, and reduce heat to a simmer. Continue to simmer for 30 minutes, or until mixture coats the back of a spoon.
- Remove from heat and strain jelly into sterilized jars through a fine mesh sieve. Place sterilized lids over jars and tighten with bands. Store in the refrigerator for up to three months.
3. Huckleberry Jam
- Equal parts berries and sugar
- 2 Tbs water for every 5 oz of berries
- Combine the huckleberries, sugar and water into a saucepan, making sure the saucepan you use leaves enough room for the mixture to increase in volume when it boils.
- Bring mixture to a boil, stirring frequently, and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer jam for 20 minutes or until it coats a spoon and pour into sterlized jars. Top with sterile lids and bands and store in the refrigerator for up to three months.
- Circle Labels • I chose the “Joy of Scrolls” style in pink, deep red and coral.
- Circle Hang Tags • I chose the “Joy of Scrolls” style in mint.
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