Blackberry Jam

I love me some blackberry jam!

When I went blackberry pickin a few weeks ago with my retired teacher friends, I was able to pick around 8 pounds of blackberries.

I used some blackberries to make this super yummy oatcake with blue berries and blackberries. You can find the recipe here.

I also made this blackberry cobbler when Company came over. You can find the recipe here.

I had just enough blackberries left over to make a batch of blackberry jam.

Jam is not that hard to make. You can tell from the above picture I had oldest grand girl helping me mash the berries first a little to get the juice out.

First thing I do is get my jars washed and sterilized. After that, I put them on a tea towel, along with the rings. I keep the lids hot by keeping them in hot water in a pan behind the jars.

I fill a stock pot with water and bring it to a boil to do a 10 minute water bath processing after the jars are filled.

Now, it is time to get the jam started. For this batch of jam, I just used the recipe included in the sure jell pectin box. In a large pan you take crushed blackberries with a small amount of sugar and the pectin and bring to a full rolling boil. Next, you add in the rest of the sugar and bring it back to a boil.

Bring the jam back to a boil and boil for a full one minute. You can see the foam start to build up on top of the boiling jam. Some cooks add in a 1/2 teaspoon of butter to reduce foaming. It is a personal choice.

I usually just scoop off the foam and put it into a cup

Next, ladle in the hot jam into the hot jars. Be sure and wipe the top of each jar clean before you put the lids on.  You want to fill each jar with jam to about 1/4 inch from the top.

After  you get the lids and rings screwed on, put the jars in boiling water for 10 minutes.

Remove jars from boiling water and let cool on a kitchen towel. That little bit, in that jar I had left over, it went into the refrigerator.

We have since ate it….

See how easy making jam it : )

Now, we just need some warm biscuits.

Anywho, blackberry season is over here in mid Missouri, but if you have some berries you picked in your freezer or just want to buy some fresh berries at the store, you can make blackberry jam year round.

Here is the recipe

Blackberry Jam

Adapted from the  Sure Jell recipe


5 cups crushed berries

4 cups sugar

1 box (1.75 ounce) of pectin. I used Sure Jell for this recipe


In a large pot or canner, bring pot half full of boiling water

Wash and sterilize jars and rings. Pour boiling water over the lids and keep hot in the water.

Crush 5 cups of berries with a potato masher. Do not puree.

Measure out 5 cups of crushed berries, 1 box of pectin and 1/4 cup of sugar. Put the sugar, pectin and berry mixture into large sauce pan and bring to a boil.

Add the rest of the sugar into the boiling berry mixture.

Bring to a boil and boil for one minute at a full rolling boil.

Remove from heat. If you have foam on top of your jam you can just skim it off with a spoon.

Ladle the hot jam into prepared jars.

Wipe top of jars clean.

Place lids on and rings. Screw the rings on with out making them overly tight.

Place jars of jam into canner (make sure you use some sort of rack, I used my little ball green canner basket) and process with boiling water for 10 minutes.

Remove jars from boiling water and cool on a towel.

Make sure all lids make that “pop” sound or run your finger over the top to make sure the lids have sealed.

Keep at room temperature for 24 hours.

The hardest part is keeping  your spoon out of the jars as you sample it….

Let me know how you do!!




Here is another jam recipe you might enjoy making:

Vanilla Rhubarb Jam


New School, New Classrooms!

School started at the New high school this week!

It has been a summer of packing boxes, unpacking boxes and setting up the foods lab and the sewing lab.

I have to tell ya, it looks pretty darn good! I hope you agree.

I wish I had a kitchen island and double ovens!!!

This is what I unpacked a couple of weeks ago.

Here is the child development room. The teacher I work with, that is teaching the child development classes,  had all the electronic babies getting all charged up. They even come with car seats!!

Here is a picture of the sewing lab. I have more sewing machines set up now for the students to use.

This is what it looked like before I got started unpacking boxes and moving tables around.

I think the sewing lab is looking pretty good! I still have some work to do.

Anywho, I thought you might want a quick update on the new school and new classrooms.

This summer was an adventure!

I think I could get a job at Two men and a Truck place…..I have packed and unpacked so much!

Maybe not…..I think the “men” part eliminates me : )

I have a some more garden updates (I planted…with help….a fall garden), apple picking with grand girls, and some jam recipes.

So, please check back!!!!

I know I will survive the first week of school…..

Tomorrow is Friday and Jean Day! woohooo!!!





Happy Birthday to “A Small Town Kitchen!”

A Small Town Kitchens is one year old today! It is hard for me to believe That a year has gone by so fast!

This  little web page of mine was something I wanted to do for a long time before I actually took the plunge. Baby college girl help me set it up and get all the information filled in all the blanks. I remembering watching tons of you tube videos on how to do all of this and taking notes. Trying to decipher my scribbled notes was really fun too!

Thank you to my amazing family who does not mind me sharing them with you!

Minerva…you always keep me inspired. You are a rare gem of a friend! I wish I could spell better for you! ; )

To all my other friends who read this and who I occasionally write about, you all are irreplaceable to me!

Anywho, last but not least to all my readers who keep coming back, I am humbled by you!

Here is a link to my very first post

Thank You Again!



Oat Cake with Blackberries and Blueberries

A few weeks ago I had to take the Princess to her regular mammogram appointment. For those of you who do not know my mom had breast cancer about 5 years ago. She is cancer free now…yippee! But goes in every 6 months for her cancer screening.

Anywho…..I drove to Mom’s and picked her up and drove her to her appointment.

We got there in plenty of time and sat down to wait until it was her turn. On the table, in the waiting room, was a Martha Steward magazine. UMMM…maybe there is some recipes in there, I thought as I reached for the magazine.

That is when it happen!

Some crazy lady in the waiting room decided to start talking to me.

Clutching Martha Steward to my chest I sat back down and started looking through the magazine. Absentmindedly, nodding yes, occasionally looking up and smiling and telling her that I agree and yes it was ok to live in the Ozarks and drive to the big city for appointments cause the doctors are better and that Yes, McDonalds has the best tasting fries (if you do not like salt on your fries) around and who invented a machine that squishes your breast down like a pancake to get an xray….Still looking through the magazine I finally see a recipe that looks like one I would like to try. I really do not want to steal this magazine from the waiting room….I would never do that…cough cough…but I just wanted to write the recipe down real quick…..That is too bad to hear that you big toe hurt in those new shoes, I hate it when my feet hurt too….I really want this recipe. In the midst of all this talking, The Princess had already gone in and had her mammogram and was waiting on me. Desperation seized me, cause I really wanted this recipe….So I did what all 80’s Ladies would do….I pulled out my IPhone and took a picture of it!

I smiled to the crazy lady and mom smiled at her too and we waved goodbye  and went out of the waiting room.

Mom asked me who was that? I don’t know who she is but I bet she is kin to us cause we are kinda crazy too!

I know that this has happened to you in a waiting room…..and it was probably me doing the talking.

Most importantly, I have this moist delicious recipe to share with you.

I have made this cake twice now and everyone who has tried it loves it. The oatmeal in it gives it a rustic texture, the berries add so much tenderness and flavor and the sugar on top adds the crunch appeal!

This is all you need to make this recipe. Sorry you can’t see the quick cooking oats in the back, the sunlight was coming in too strong to get a good picture)

First thing, is prepare a 8 x 8 inch pan but putting butter on the inside and coating it with flour, shaking off the excess flour.

Measure out one cup of oats.

Add water to the oats to soften them up.

In a separate bowl, add flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder and cinnamon.

In a mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar and brown sugar.

Add one egg and mix.

Add vanilla and combine.

Add the flour mixture and gently combine.

Add half of the blackberries and blue berries.

Gently fold in the berries.

Spread batter evenly in pan.

Top it with some oats.

Some sugar. You can use regular sugar, sanding sugar or you can use what I used and it was unrefined sugar I got from the Amish store.

Lastly, sprinkle the rest of the berries on top and put in a preheated 350 degree oven.

It comes out looking like this. The berries have popped open and sunk in a bit and the sugar on top has added a crunch.

Take a look at the inside. It is full of berries. This cake is not too sweet either.

Ok…for all my crazy friend out there that wanted this recipe and to the crazy lady in the waiting room….I am honored to have you as my friends.

Till we meet again…in the waiting room or at Mickey D’s ordering French fries…just remember to ask for more salt!



Here is the recipe

Oat Cake with Blackberries and Blueberries

Adapted from Martha Steward


1 cup of quick cooking oats (plus 3 tablespoons for sprinkling on top of cake)

2/3 cup of water

1/2 cup of butter

3/4 cup of flour

1/2 teaspoon of baking powder

1/2 teaspoon of baking soda

1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon

3/4 teaspoon of salt

1/2 cup of brown sugar

1/2 cup of granulated sugar

1 large egg

1 teaspoon of vanilla

1 cup blackberries

1 cup blueberries


Prepare  8 x 8 pan with butter and flour. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine 1 cup  of oats with water and let stand until softened.

In another bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.

In a mixing bowl, cream together the butter and the sugars. Add egg and vanilla.

Add flour mixture to the creamed butter mixture.

Fold in 1/2 cup of each blueberries and blackberries.

Spread batter evenly into prepared pan.

Sprinkle with 3 tablespoons oats, sanding sugar and the rest of berries.

Bake for 40 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean from the center.

Cool for 30 minutes and dig in!!




Here are some recipe recipes you might enjoy trying.


Cornbread Salad                                  Praline Snickerdoodles                         Garlic Cheddar Biscuits


Cooking (blackberry cobbler) with Company

Have you ever tried to bake something with Company?

It can be a comical and yummy experience….if you are brave enough!

Last week, I went blackberry pickin with two of my retired teacher friends and I came home with almost 8 pounds of blackberries. you can read about it here. I did not want to waste one berry because I waited too long to either bake, freeze or make jam with them. Since black berry cobbler is one our favorite things to gobble up this time of year, I took the chance to bake with oldest grand girl and Company.

Here is how it went….

The first thing we did was round up all the ingredients. Whew…it was like….flour on first base, sugar on second, what’s in the grocery bag?…..(blackberries you ding dong….)

Grand girl takes charge and starts measuring out the flour to make the crust.

Next, Company takes over and adds in some baking powder.

Then adds in some sugar.

This is when it gets interesting.

Company takes over (again) and decided to measure the cinnamon.

Company was very exact when measuring.


Company has to tap…tap…tap…tap….and tap (again) the cinnamon into the bowl. (it has something to do with the way company’s grand ma did it).

Grand girl, rereads the recipe and finds that we have left out the salt. She does not want to use table salt. so she spends 10 minutes looking for the sea salt.

They final let me help by whisking the dry ingredients together.

I think this is about the time that it was getting dark outside. My last working kitchen light bulb had gone out the day before and it was getting pretty dark in the kitchen. (did you notice all the shadows in the pictures?) Company decided to make a Walmart trip to replace the bulbs so we can finish up our cobbler.

So…..oldest grand girl and I wait…and wait….

40 minutes later… comes back with a bunch of light bulbs and in no time we have light!

Grand girl takes control (before Company can) and adds the butter.

She uses the pastry blender, to cut in the butter.

She carefully measures the milk (trying to impress company hehe).

Gently stir the crust together. They actually let me do this.

Right in the middle of us finishing up the cobbler crust, company pulls kit kat candy bars out of a Walmart sack. “What!? Are you hungry?”  “Yes…” ” We are going to be eating hot blackberry cobbler in about a hour.” Company smiles and asks….”Do you want a piece of my kit kat bar?”


Who can resist a piece of a kit kat bar?

Knead together the crust and roll out between two pieces of plastic wrap. I used a oval baking dish, so I was making sure the crust was the correct shape to fit. Put the crust in the fridge while you make the berry filling.

Measure out the blackberries in to a bowl.

Add the sugar.

Add the cornstarch next for a thickener.

Add the lemon juice.

We are moving a little faster now cause…..

I gave Company something to do while grand girl and I finished up.

Lastly we added some vanilla.

Stir the berries together with the sugar, lemon juice and the vanilla and pour into a prepared baking dish.

Put the chilled crust on top of the berries (tucking in the crust if it is a bit too big) Brush the top of the crust with cream (grand girl used milk).

Sprinkle the top with sugar.

I used this sugar, because it is bigger than regular sugar and has a nice flavor to it. Feel free to use regular or sanding sugar if you want. Put the cobbler in oven and bake until bubble and the crust is brown, about one hour.

While the cobbler was baking, oldest grand girl did magic tricks for us. She even has a levitating box trick.


Here is what ours looked like when it came out of the oven. If you need to cook yours longer but are afraid the crust will get too brown, just put a layer of foil on top of the cobbler.

You are suppose to wait for half and hour before eating the cobbler.

Did we wait????

Heck NO!

This is a juicy and tart cobbler. This would be perfect with a scoop of ice cream. Enough juice to swirl over your ice cream and tart enough to go with the sweetness of the ice cream

Did we have ice cream on ours.

Heck NO….cause Company does not like ice cream on his cobbler.

Sometimes, you have to make the Company happy.

Anywho…..if you have time to pick some fresh blackberries or just pick some up at the store, this is a easy and delicious cobbler.

It goes great with Company!



Here is the recipe:

Blackberry Cobbler

Adapted from Back in the Day Bakery Cookbook


2 cups flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

2 tablespoons sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt.

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

6 tablespoons cubed butter

3/4 cup of heavy cream (I used whole milk cause that was all I had)

Ingredients for the filling:

6 cups fresh blackberries

2/3 cups sugar

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 teaspoon vanilla (optional)


For the crust:

Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. With a pastry blender, cut in the butter. Gently stir in the butter. Knead together (do not over knead or it will make a tough crust). Roll out crust to desired shape (I put the crust in between two piece of plastic wrap) and place in the refrigerator while you make the filling.

For the filling:

Combined the berries, sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice and vanilla. Pour into a butter coated baking dish.

Place the chilled dough over the filling. Brush cream (I used milk) over the top of the crust and sprinkle with sugar.

Place in a preheated 350 degree oven and bake for about an hour.

Let the cobbler sit for 30 minutes before eating to give time for the crust to absorb some juice and the juice to thicken. (We could not wait…ooops)

It was great without ice cream too…..Company said so!

Have a great day!



Recipes you also might like:


Sour Cream Apple Pie                      Three Layer Strawberry Cake                       Poppy Seed Bread

Pickin’ Blackberries

I don’t know about you but I love pickin’ berries.

I can remember The Princess pickin’ gooseberries and making a pie…though I was not brave enough to try a green sour fruit pie….LOL. Years and Years ago, Niener Wiener and I went to our Aunt Pat and Uncle Larry’s farm and picked blackberries. We climbed over barb wire fences, walked through high grass and braved pickly thorns to pick our little black globes  of sweetness. When we were done,  Aunt Pat rewarded us with homemade tomato soup right out of a Campbell Soup can. We went home and made the best tasting blackberry jam.

Those memories make me smile!

I miss my Uncle Larry……real bad!

Anywho, yesterday I took the morning off (from still setting up classroom labs) and went blackberry pickin’ with two of my retired teachers friends, Carol and Jill.

If you look hard enough, you might be able to see Carol up this row.

I was late getting there, because of road construction, missed signs, not paying attention and basicaly spaceing off while I was driving till I was about 8 miles past where I was suppose to turn. My two teacher friends, called me and decided to go ahead and start picking. When I got there, I took my bucket and started walking down to where you can pick the blackberries. (This is a local ” you pick”  farm called, Pick and Pick). As I start walking toward their large blackberry patch,  I am walking down the ailses hollering “YouWhooooo,” trying to figure out where they are.  They are hollering back..”We can hear you, keep walking this way.”

the blackberry patch is way up ahead


“Your voice is getting closer….keep walking.”


“Oh Jill, I found a mother lode of berries!!!”


“Woohoo Carol, I found a mother lode of ripe berries over here!!”


“Oh Becky…I think you just need to walk down a couple of more rows….Jill…Becky is here….”


“I think one more row should do it!”


“We are down here! No here! Just a little farther..”

Whew….I felt like I was in a maze. But, I finally found my two buddies, and they did indeed find a mother lode of beautiful ripe berries.

I found some too!

I also found a adorable birds nest.

Not quite ripe berries, but they will be perfect next week for pickin”.

It was a beautiful day for pickin’ blackberries. It is beautiful too at Pick and Pick.

Pick and Pick has rows and rows of neatly trimed blackberries.

With a little help from Carol, this is what I came home with. Almost 8 pounds of super sweet blackberries. Let’s just hope I do not have the same fiasco as I did with all the corn, read about here.

I have already used 1 cup of the blackberries in a oat cake with blackberries and blueberries I made as soon as I got home with these blackberries. I will post the recipe later on today.

Right now, I better start freezing some of these blackberries and find jars for blackberry jam.

I hope you can find some time to go out and pick some berries.

It will bring you berry much pleasure….and be berry delicious!


Couponing at Hyvee

I never try to ignore couponing at Hyvee, it just happens.

But that all changed this past Monday.

In the Sunday paper, Hyvee had these great coupons that was good for Monday only. I meant to go before I went to school (to unpack some more) but alas I did not make it.

So, at 9:00 a night, I headed to Hyvee to use those awesome coupons.

 I picked up some bottle water for $1.99 with a coupon, 10 packages of ramen noodles (I got the oreintal kind because I need the seasoning pack for a pasta salad recipe I like to make) some tuna, some tomato sauce, a dozen eggs, some pork and beans, some margarine and two free bananas.

Yep! Two free bananas. The coupon was for one pound of free bananas, So….I grabed three bananas and took them to the scale to weigh them. I noticed a man watching me weigh the bananas. When I put one banana back cause it made it go over one half pound, he asked me how many bananas was a pound. I said two. So he grabed his two free bananas too.

I guess we all went a little bananas over Hyvee coupons.

I spent around $8.50 for everything.

Anywho….Hyvee has more coupons you can use the next two days (Thurs and Fri). Just grab their sale add as you go intot the door, and save, save, save.

This time the coupon is for .38 cents for a pound bananas. (I am pretty sure that is the right amount)

So that means you can get two bananas for. 38 cents.


Now, I will peel out and go to bed.

Yes, this is corny humor but I can’t help it…

Happy Shopping! Time for me to banana spilt!

(Sorry, I could not resist one more banana joke)



Coupon Shopping Trip

Schnuck’s has a coupon promotion going right now. They will double 75 cent coupons. This will last until next Tuesday. So, this means 75 cent coupons will be worth $1.50.

Anywho, before I left to work in new classrooms (yes, I am still unpacking) I did a little couponing.

I bought three boxes of cereal, a container of potato salad, one of coke slaw and four candy bars for .88 cents.

I was able to save $17.65 by coupon matching with the sale items.

Head over to Schnuck’s and see what bargains you can come up with and let me know. Just remember they only take three like coupons and will only double 15 coupons per day.

Good luck!