Tuesday, June 24

Strawberry Jam

Since Molly's first summer, which was our first summer in our home, we've made fresh strawberry jam.  It may not have turned out perfectly, but we finished it!  We're thankful for local farmers who grow these sweet berries, allowing them to ripen on the vine, which makes them taste like nothing you can buy in a store.  They're one of my favorite tastes of summer.


We set up a workstation in our kitchen for jam making.  It's supposed to cut down on total destruction and mess.  But this year, I had a little more help than I've had in the past ;)

 We wash the berries (while tasting some), take the stems off (while eating a few more), and then process them in a food processor for just a few pulses, until they're broken up, but not pureed.  We love having some chunky strawberry bites in our jam.  I have always used a basic recipe in my Grandmother's cookbook, but it's the same one that I found on the Sure-Jel package, and also here.  I will warn you, though, it calls for A LOT of sugar.  It's kind of a sickening amount of sugar.  And honestly, I prefer my jam a little less sweet, so we cut back.  And it's still delicious.

I've always stuck to the simpler freezer jam, but I found a few recipes that looked amazing on my search, including one by my favorite, Ina Garten.  I'm bookmarking that one- maybe next year I'll be more brave!

Strawberry Freezer Jam
 (I doubled this recipe, and got 10 jelly jars)

2 cups fresh, crushed strawberries
 4 cups sugar (we added about 2.5 cups)
1 package dry pectin (1.75 oz)
3/4 cup water

Wash and dry jelly jars (or your container of choice).
Crush berries until texture remains, and not pureed.  Add sugar to berries and allow to sit, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes. 

In a small saucepan, mix water and pectin.  Bring to a boil, and allow to boil for 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly.

Add pectin to berries, and stir throroughly, at least 3 minutes.

    Fill jelly jars 2/3 full with jam, apply lids, and allow to sit at room temperature for 24 hours.
Refridgerate for up to 3 weeks, or freeze for up to 1 year.
(ours doesn't last long!)


I hope you get a chance to make some jam, it's seriously super easy, and such a sweet taste of summer (that can be enjoyed even in the freezing temps of January!)

Happy Summer!



Monday, June 23

More Mollyisms

Sitting at the table, it's lunch time.  Molly, you can't leave until we're all done.  "That's not fair!" (insert pouty lip face)

(The playroom is a mess, a huge mess).  Molly- look at this mess!  Let's clean it up before we go outside.  (walks over to me and touches my belly) "how's your baby doing, mummy?!"

2 of our 3 cats are playing.  "Boots!  That's enough! I said enough!  I'm going to put you in time out..."

(Leaving a fire at a friend's).  "Mummy, I had the most fun.  That's my favorite day ever."

Daddy comes home from work, and immediately grabs Molly and starts tickling.  She laughs, but after a few minutes "Daddy, no more!  Go to the farm!" 

5 minutes later.  "Daddy, can I go to the farm with you?  I can help you feed the cows!"

I'm making dinner.  "Mummy, look at this big mess.  You better start cleaning it up right now!"

10 seconds later, pushing a chair toward the sink.  "I can help do the dishes!  Bring me the dirty ones."

Molly, how was your day at Diane's? (the babysitter).  "Well, I peed my pants."

Molly, it's time to go home (we're at her cousins' house).  "I don't want to!  I want to stay here".  Come on, Molly- you can see them again tomorrow.  "No, I'm running away.  (starts running from me)  Here I go!"  (seriously, where did she learn this?!)

Lying in bed, it's story time before bed.  My tummy growls.  "Oh, Mummy, I hear your baby in there!  It's so cute!"

Is this baby a boy or a girl, Molly?!  "A girl.  No, wait, I know its a boy!"  (every time, it's different)

I really need to keep up on these posts- a 2.5 year old has so much to say!   She seriously has us laughing countless times each day.  And even though she's a little mirror to my grumpy, impatient side some days- I still see a sweet girl blossoming more and more.    I still can't believe she's going to be a big sister!  Ahhh.

Happy Monday.