I took them inside and washed them, picking out the stems and a few withered berries. Then I cooked them down with sugar and a dribble of water.
I overcooked them just a bit; these have quite a lot of pectin in them, so they didn't need to cook much. They made a sweet, rich jam, nutty with the small seeds in the berries, and tasting ever so slightly of almond, cherry, and apple. My husband slathered it on his toast the next morning; he has already made quite a dent in this batch.This sweet, short jam-making adventure was a reminder again of how easy it can be to preserve a smidge of summer's bounty. When making jam, it's best to think small. Just make a little batch; just a jar or two won't take over your kitchen.
I was lucky; this fruit was right in my front yard. Maybe you'll find some fruit hanging around the neighborhood, or a pint of extra-ripe strawberries for half off at the farmers market. Pick it up, cook it down — enjoy summer's sweet taste into fall.
Are you making jam or preserves this summer?
(Images: Faith Durand)