Monday, March 14, 2011

A Little Bit Domestic Isnt Such A Bad Thing

Last summer we were surrounded by tons of blueberry fields, and at some point, I decided why not make blueberry jam?! Its all tied back in to my desire to eat less processed foods, and simply to know whats in the things we eat. Now, dont be confused, I did not have any spiffy tools or big pots. I just used what I had. The result, AWESOME BLUEBERRY JAM. Probably the best Ive even. (Well, expect maybe my Great Aunt Dot who used to make it years and years ago. Somehow I have always remembered it!)

Just starting to cook down the second bath. See the apples and blueberries?? YUM.

In all the excitement about moving home to Florida, I was a little bummed to have access to the those blueberries...... Until I remember Florida has STRAWBERRIES. Probably my all time favorite single piece of food. I think anyone in my family can attest to this.

This is the second batch waiting to set.

In Geneva there is a great little Strawberry Patch called Pappys that always has the most divine berries, but I havent quite made it out there yet, although I plan to this week. We purchased a flat (6 pints) of strawberries from the Winter Park Farmers Market this past weekend. They were only $7! The Farmer's Market was awesome. Really a one-of-a-kind experience, but more on that another day. :) Back to strawbs.

This is the second batch waiting to set. See how the blueberries made it so much darker?

We usually have at least one project on the weekends, and yesterdays was the jam. Blake spent all morning researching and reading through several cookbooks that had recipes. We decided on a hybrid recipe combining several. Blake's grandfather gave us a cookbook called "Stocking Up" (c. 1977) that gave some great advice. One of the things they suggested was using honey instead of sugar. And even back in 1977 they said it was due to wanting less processed foods. We thought this was a great idea! Long story short, Im not a hundred percent sure how it turned out. Its just now been 24 hours after sealing the cans, they havent set all the way (theyre still a little giggly--lets be technical). But I havent tasted them yet. Today, with more strawbs left over, I followed a recipe for a smaller batch using strawbs, an apple (natural source of pectin, the alternative to adding packaged pectin like we usually do), a few blueberries, sugar and 2 table spoons of Grand Marnier. Mmmmm

Of course I tasted it before I sealed the jars, and it tasted awesome, it was a little sweeter than yesterdays batch. So, we'll see which turns out better. :)

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