Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Strawberries + 1 hour & 40 mins=

I love fruit! Off the top of my head I can't think of one I'd refuse to eat. Growing up in BC we had many more types that grew locally, and as a kid I remember reluctantly having to pick berries. The end result was always worth it...jams, desserts(the names of which I don't know how to spell)...and simply eating it fresh off the bush!

I'm not sure why I've shied away from canning & preserving food. I come from a long line of women who put lots of time and effort into filling the pantry for winter. They never complained and when old enough we "had to" help. I wish I had pictures to show you of the rows upon rows of jars. Pickles, pears, peaches, cherries, beans, to name a few of my favorites.

I wish I had paid more attention when I was still at home, because then maybe the thought of preserving food for my family wouldn't be so daunting.

SO I figured I'd start small. 20 lbs of strawberries, a NO cook NO canning recipe. I am NOT an expert but I know how to follow directions.

I hope that my "notes" and photos will inspire you to give a try! When I added up all the receipts, I can't honestly say it's cheaper to make it, then buy a jar of jam from the store. But I know where the berries came from, I know what I added, and most importantly the process and experience is what matters!!

Find some cheap or free labourers to do the dirty work, thanks P & Q for all your hard work!!

I wanted the cute little jars with the berries on them, but the frugal side of me said no. (Yes M I know you'll be "mad" I bought jars, when you have a whole cabinet fill :)

  • Yes I'm sure it would have been easier to wash them by hand...but in my house if it fits in the dishwasher it goes in the dishwasher!!
1 of 4 cute baskets of berries. The farm had gotten some hail about a weak before we went, so some of the berries weren't that "pretty" but they taste amazing and were the perfect softness for jam.
Quick rinse...a little bit a dirt never hurt anyone.
All set up and ready to work. Surprisingly it didn't take me that long to get through the berries. I even had my favorite music blasting...the first local follower to comment who my favorite singer is, gets a FREE jar of jam!!
Straight into the blender...because the less dirty dishes the better!!
It only took a few seconds to blend them. You can leave it a little chunky if you prefer it that way.
4 cups blended fruit, 1 1/2 cups of sugar & pkg of pectin. Very simple! Next time I'd play with the amount of sugar, because the fruit was SO sweet, it probably could have used a little less.
Mix for 3 minutes and put into jars.
A funnel works best...cuts down on the mess
15 beautiful jars of jam!!!
I kept the nicest ones aside. I cut them in 1/2 or 1/4 and then will freeze them on the cookies sheets over night. That way the fruit doesn't freeze all together in one big lump. We love to eat them in winter as a snack, or in a crisp or smoothie!!
I just realized something very sad. Even though we were allowed to eat as many as we wanted while we picked...and then they sat in our fridge for 24+ hours. I only ate ONE fresh berry :( What was I thinking???

Monday, 25 July 2011

You can't fail if you don't try!!

SO some of you have been suggesting/bugging me to start a blog. And while I was resistant at first I did set this up a few months ago and even have a follower :)
Since my current moto is "You can't fail if you don't try" I figured it was time to give it a try and few of you said I'll be good at it, so we shall see.
I can see myself posting about all sorts of stuff; crafts, scrapbooking, baking, DIY, decorating, raising a wonderful but busy, high energy & brilliant son...and whatever else is bouncing around in my head keeping me awake at night.
I hope you enjoy!!