Blueberry season is a busy one for us as we process about 25 gallons of berries over 3-4 weeks. It's not hard work, but it takes time. Processing for us is a matter of sorting out berries based on quality. We set up an assembly line on our kitchen table & it takes about an hour per gallon by myself. With help, it goes much quicker.
The tricky part with little helpers is sorting & not filling tummies! So, our process to sorting is to first clean the berries. While they're floating in water, we scoop up a handful and put firm ones to be frozen, slightly soft ones for cooking down, mushy ones go to make vinegar and the shriveled ones go with stems & leaves for worm food.
Next the freezing ones get laid out on cookie sheets covered with parchment paper & put in freezer until frozen. Then, we transfer them from the cookie sheets into quart freezer bags & back to the freezer they go.
The mushy ones get put in a mason jar, smashed down & water added if juice doesn't cover. Then, we cover the jar. The jar gets checked daily & mashed down to get any air pockets out & ensure the berries stay below the liquid line. After a week or so, we check on the jar less and let it sit for months while it ferments into vinegar.
Soft ones get put in a pot on the stove to cook down & fill the house with their sweet aroma. We stir them every once in awhile & add some honey to sweeten if tart. Hours later, we puree this, bag & freeze it some and make some treats like this brittle!
~Recipe Roundup ~