Last week I made strawberry freezer jam for the FIRST time. Apparently I am the last person to ever make this stuff because everyone that I tell says "I make that all the time, isn't it so easy?" YES!! It is so easy. WHY did I wait so long to try it myself?
When we were gone camping we made a day trip into Traverse City and stopped at a u-pick strawberry farm on our way back to the campground. It is so beautiful there. A perfect day for picking too. Just look at that sky!
The kids loved it and we got a little under 15 pounds of strawberries. I think we only came home with about 8 pounds though because the kids munched on them the whole night!
I've been wanting to making jam for a long time but I just never got to the strawberry fields AND to the store to buy what I needed in the same time frame to get it done. This year, I purchased the freezer jars and pectin back in February when I happened to see them on sale because I knew that I would forget about it when it was actually time to buy them. I was prepared THIS time!
I didn't have a go to recipe since I've never done it before so I googled for one. I found this one and went with it. I wont repeat the recipe since you can find it on that website and everywhere else all over the Internet, all you need to know is you need strawberries, sugar, pectin, and storage jars.
I used the 8oz jars made by Ball since they are so easy to use and perfectly sized for jam. I cleaned off the strawberries, blended them for a minute in the Ninja, poured them over the mixture of sugar and pectin, mixed and then let it sit for about 10 minutes. After it thickened up a bit, I used a funnel to ladle the jam into the jars. I let the jars sit out for about 20 more minutes and then popped them into the freezer.
This recipe makes 5 full 8oz jars of jam.
I know there are so many ways to do freezer jam and this non-cooking method is a lot softer set which is ok with me because my kids love jam on their pancakes and toast so it's nice to practically pour on top and then spread. Next time maybe I'll try the cooking method to see which way I like better. What do you guys prefer? Do you have any special ingredients or tips for this new jam making lady? If you do please share!
I had just under 4 quarts to start with. The jam recipe only calls for 4 cups of mashed strawberries so with our remaining strawberries we made smoothies! My kids LOVE smoothies and I try to make them at least once a week. It's an easy way to sneak in healthy stuff with out them ever knowing. I have to do it that way because these kids are picky picky!
This particular smoothie had strawberries, banana, flax seed, honey, yogurt, and ice in it.
Until Mark came in and wanted to try mixing some chocolate almond milk in his to see what it would taste like. From the sounds and squeals from
Mark the kids it was like hitting gold. I didn't try it but I can tell you that three of my family members thoroughly recommend it!
Next up on my jam making adventures is to try black raspberry cooked jam. We found a bunch of black raspberries out in our field so this week we will be out picking and getting ready for a new jam adventure.
I wanted to share my tiny little project with you that I did last week too. We've been really lazy in the projects department lately that this is literally all I've done for about two weeks other than organizing here and there. It's so hard to want to be in the house working when it's so beautiful outside.
So in my last kitchen post, I showed you a lot of the kitchen but there was something that I was purposefully not showing you
See in the photo above, I never showed you the bottom of the island...because it looked like this
We need toe kicks installed on all the cabinets. The old cabinets have the gross old toe kicks still on so from the photos you cant really see how bad they are but this island raw wood look was starting to drive me crazy. Something temporarily had to be done. I had some chalk paint left over from our chalk painted Lego table so I got it back out and put one coat on the island base.
Sorry about the blurry pictures but I had to use my phone because my camera batteries had died and no replacements were to be found. But you get the picture right. It's the tiniest little change but I notice it EVERY time I walk into the kitchen so for me it's a huge improvement. Eventually we will have real toe kicks to replace this painted version, toe kicks are just basically a piece of trim, and they look so nice once installed.
So that's what I've been up to. Mark's been out in the barn organizing his
junk treasures. I should snap a few photos of the barn sometime so I can show you how kinda cool it is and what we want to do with it. Right now you wouldn't be able to see past the piles of stuff. Someday I will show that to you, I promise!