Homemade Preserves - First Attempt
Hands are red, blood-like-red and I'm supposed to be having fun............ Whose idea was this anyway?????? Well, actually it was mine.
I wanted to pick strawberries so I could make homemade jam and preserves, freezing them for later use. Yes, you can freeze strawberries. Wash them, hull them, and place them flat on a baking sheet in the freezer. When they are frozen just take them off the tray and pop into a freezer bag.
I was out there for over two hours picking strawberries thinking of all the fun things I could make with them - really. Then I got tired, very tired, and very hungry. The first thing when I did when I arrived home was to eat a very large and yummy cheeseburger with a strawberry milkshake - homemade of course :)
Actually, after looking at my fingers from picking and hulling the strawberries it looked like a murder had been committed. Why on earth would anyone go this trouble to make strawberry, or any other, jam when it can be bought at the store? Good question.
To make the jam I used real fruit preserving pectin by Ball. Great stuff
I have this burning desire, thought, stubbornness, craziness…. to be independent and know that I can “do it myself.” I’d already made dill pickles and salsa (recipes coming soon) and I was on a roll, even though it was 9:30 at night, I was tired, but I wanted to (stubborn, crazy….) I also knew better. “…But it will only take 30 minutes…” I reasoned to myself as I cut the strawberries into small pieces, measured the sugar, and poured in the Ball instant pectin. WOW, what a delightful smell – I had mixed it up per the directions, put it in the jar and I was shaking the jar to mix it up properly.
My hands were wet, and so was the jar but I had a good firm grip on “my” homemade strawberry jam. Hubby, Mr. Cooki came into the kitchen to empty the trash can, which was rather overflowing thanks to me! I thought he was going to say something about the trash being full (feeling just a little guilty here….) so I was ready with my comeback, furiously shaking the jar of fresh made strawberry jam, with my wet hands on a wet jar. All the flavors are blending and mixing up into this scrumptious sweet tasting strawberry jam. When suddenly, …CRASH! All over the kitchen floor, my washed-that-day kitchen floor was now splattered with my fresh homemade strawberry jam. It was EVERYWHERE and included the glass from the jar that I was shaking. This looked like another crime scene. That was my comeback to a non-existent comment from Mr. Cooki. Mr. Cooki just looked and asked me very quietly, “what happened?”
He told me not to move and quietly swept up the mess then he mopped the floor for me, then he laughed. He told me I was more concerned with what he was doing than paying attention to my shaking……. Humph ;)Yes, I was actually tempted to make it again, only this time it was 10:30 p.m. I didn't, I went to bed and slept hard.The jam was made the next morning and tasted scrummy!
http://recipesbycooki.blogspot.com/ Click here to read more
Yes, I can buy jam, pickles...
salsa, and anything I want from the store, so why on earth make it from scratch?
...Well, because I can :)
Probably not a very scientific or logical answer, but it's my answer. Wanting to be independent is a good reason to make anything myself. What if the store ran out of food due to a hurricane, or some such thing (sorry, not intending to be pessimistic here), but I like to know I can still feed family members. Plus, think about all the preservatives, fat, and sugar in store bought food - drat - there goes the oreo's...
I did make some pickles as we have an abundance of cucumbers from our garden, thanks to Mr. Hubby.
The recipe on the packet recommends waiting three weeks before eating and to store for only three months in the refrigerator. Mine are in the three week waiting stage and i'll update when I've tasted them. It was easy to do though.
update: yes, they were good. Crispy and fresh tasting.
A Little Salsa is Good ...
The Salsa had me boiling and soaking tomatoes, then chopping them. I don't know if it was worth it. Hubby said the salsa had a bite to it - oh, boy did it. Of course that depends on personal taste. I Used extra veggies from the garden to add to the mixture, making it extra yummy.
You Can Do It.
When I look at the long term - having items in my pantry from food that I have grown, it's a very satisfying feeling.
If we know how to make items from scratch, whether it is food, clothes, furniture, or whatever you want, we will remain independent and can survive and overcome any situation that may arise.