Tuesday, June 26, 2012

It's that time again

We've been really enjoying the strawberries!
Yesterday I was able to get 25 lbs. of organic Bing cherries.  Thanks to a friend who loaned me a cherry pitter, Hannah and I were able to pit them all in a short time.  That was a real blessing.  One year my step mom was here with my dad and we had gotten 40 lbs. of cherries - which she pitted ALL BY HAND!  Took for - ev- er.  Tell me that's not love!  

Our favorite is to eat all this fresh goodness...well, fresh, but we also like to make jam.  Jam adds such nice flavor to homemade, fluffy biscuits.  It also makes nice gifts.  I'm always so tickled when my friend sends me her special jam made from fruit from her little orchard. {If you are reading this, Karen, yes, that's a hint!!!!}

A few years ago, I found this product. 
Pomona's Pectin. 
I have had great results with it.  What I love about it - is that it is flexible.  You can muliply your batches of jam (I often quadruple mine) and use very little (or a lot) of any kind of sweetener you like.  One year we made jam using raw honey.  However, we didn't care for those results.  The honey kind of "muddied" the color of the jam and the flavor overpowered the berries, even though I thought I used it sparingly.

Now, I use organic sugar.  I feel like it's a good choice.  It is a natural sweetener - from the sugar cane that God created and it is minimally processed.  I just don't use a lot of it.  
Yesterday I made strawberry jam (that's my kids' favorite).  I used 16 cups of fruit and only 1-1/2 cups of organic sugar.  That's not even quite 10%. 

My personal favorite flavor of jam is tri-berry. It's a combination of strawberries, raspberries and blueberries. Since I have to wait for blueberries to come into season - that's when the freezing of berries is most helpful. 

I just flash freeze my fruit.  All you do is place your fruit on cookie sheets and place in the freezer for about an hour.  Then scoop off the fruit and put in marked gallon Ziploc bags for future use.  Be sure to label it well with the contents, date and intended use. For example,
"organic whole strawberries, 2012, use for smoothies" or  
"organic, raspberries, 2012, use for tri-berry jam"

Flash freezing is so helpful since sometimes you might be short on time.  This way it's ready for you when you are ready.  I do try to get to making the jam sooner than later though. Kind of that minset of, "Don't put off to tomorrow, what you can do today."

What's your favorite jam flavor?  Do you have a favorite recipe?  Who taught you how to make jam?

I love this endearing art that anyone can do - city-dwellers and farmers alike!

Link up to Homestead Rivival's Barn Hop 67 for more homesteading ideas.
   



2 comments:

  1. Yes, I got your hint!! I just tucked 7 bags of apricot plum crisp filling into my freezer instead of making jam :-)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Mmmmm. Plum Crisp filling is good! :-)

    ReplyDelete


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