Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Raspberry Heaven

Christmas arrived in July, a package from our friends Bob and Alison. A year or two ago, we spent an extraordinary few days with them in the beautiful Washington countryside. I ate a quart of raspberries every day from their organic vines.

Bob is a chef and winemaker and gardener. Alison is a financial wizard who also gardens and weaves baskets and does everything Bob doesn't do.

Their package was heavy and tightly packed. I jumped up and down when I finally got the wrapping off. Magic potions! Alison's ruby raspberry jam, made with raspberries from their organic garden. PLUS a jar of raspberry honey, redolent of warm sun and whispering fruit. The flavors linger on the tongue in a silky essence of life.

Alison says anyone can make the jam. She shared her recipe, below. The part she didn't say, is that in the crucible of bubbling sugar, the berries from their garden transcend until you can taste the fire of the ancient volcano whose stony magma lies beneath the garden--and the sweetness of the nourishing love between the gardeners.

In Alison's words:

Raspberry jam is super easy, once you pick the raspberries! I crush the berries through a strainer to get out most of the seeds. Measure 5 cups of prepared fruit into a sauce pan. Measure 4 cups of sugar into a bowl and add one package of pectin. ... Bring the fruit to a rolling boil, then quickly stir in the sugar and pectin. Bring that to a rolling boil and continue stirring for one minute.

Ladle the jam into sterilized jars and top with lids and screw rings. Invert the jars for five minutes then turn them over and let cool. The upside down thing seals the jars so you don't need to put them through a boiling water process. Easy, yum!


  1. Thanks for posting the recipe. My husband and son are the jam makers in the family. Their favorite is a wild blackberry. I'll pass it along. Meanwhile, enjoy your goodie basket!!

  2. Alison is canning tomatoes, and looking over my shoulder reading this post, even as I type. Next this morning is her 5th batch of raspberry jam.
    The garden is abundant this time of year and we enjoy the fruits (no pun intended) of our labor until next fall.

  3. Yum -- the jam sounds fabulous, but wow -- raspberry honey sounds devine (especially volano warmed and made with love). Buck and I stayed for 10 days once on a rural blueberry farm in Maine. A local woman made Blueberry Bliss jam. It was perfectly named. How about Raspberry Rhapsody?


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