A Year’s Worth of Jam

Stefani Vader
3 min readMay 13, 2022
photo by author

Last May I went and foraged enough dewberries to make a small batch of jam. Six jars in total, I was pleased. We gave two away to neighbors and thoroughly enjoyed the other four. The problem was, by September, the jam was gone.

Not a big deal, right? I mean, you can go to the store and buy some for just a few dollars. Except once you’ve had homemade jam, you no longer want store bought.

There’s something special about making something from scratch and eating it. You know exactly what ingredients are in it, how the items were grown, and how old it is. With store bought products, you have no idea. What preservatives were added? Where were the berries grown? What pesticides were used? How long were those jars sitting in a warehouse waiting to be shipped to the store?

I swore after running out last year that I would do whatever I needed to this year in order to have enough jam to not run out again. I dreamed for months of the berries growing and ripening. I thought about how I would manage to go pick enough and swore to make it a priority.

photo by author

Well, I’m pleased to say that I did it. Over the last couple of weeks I managed to pick enough dew berries to make two batches of jam. Sixteen jars of pure deliciousness is sitting on my counter.

Okay, that’s a lie. As soon as they cooled, my husband and I couldn’t help ourselves. We opened up one of the jars and both enjoyed a couple pieces of toast for desert. I have been waiting for this for almost eight months now, and it was so worth it.

Canning is a tedious process. Mashing the berries, trying to get out some of the seeds. Everything has to be sterilized. Stirring, setting timers, using a funnel to scoop the boiling liquid into the jars…

photo by author

It took me hours. The end result was so worth it.

I had hoped to end up with twelve jars. One jar for each month of the year. That way, if I rationed them out, I wouldn’t have to go very long without…

Stefani Vader

Lover of reading and writing. Hater of retail work. Small fish in a big pond, learning as I go.