Archive | March, 2013

Strawberry Season!

26 Mar

Florida is amazing for strawberries, but just oranges. Last month we picked up a flat of strawberries for $15…which promptly became jam. Mama Jam to be precise 🙂

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Look at those beauties. All sliced up and ready for some lovin’!

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Then, we mash! Good way to take out all your frustration…get it nice and smooth…

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TADA! Now we let it cook down with some pectin to make it pretty and clear. Scoop of any foamy bits and you get this:

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Ladle it into sterilized mason jars and use a water bath to seal them

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Or just eat it!

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Yum yum yum. Not going to lie, we use this on everything. Sandwiches, bread, crackers, pretzels, pancakes. I had to explain to the kiddo that he couldn’t just take a spoon and eat it straight from the jar.

The recipe I used is from the Better Homes and Gardens cookbook:

Ingredients

2 qt fresh strawberries

1  1 3/4 package of powdered pectin

1/2 tsp butter or margarine

7c sugar

Directions

1.Crush 1 cup of berries in an 8-quart pot. Continue adding berries and crushing until you have 5 cups crushed berries. Stir in pectin and margarine. Heat on high, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a full rolling boil. Add sugar all at once. Return to boiling; boil 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; skim off foam.

2.Ladle at once into hot, sterilized half-pint canning jars, leaving a 1/4-inch headspace. Wipe jar rims; adjust lids. Process in a boiling-water canner 5 minutes. Remove jars; cool.

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Non-baby stuff

26 Mar

Ok so for some reason, caring about the food you eat means you’re some crazy hippy health nut. Not really. I’m a big fat fatty that loves food…I would just prefer to not eat random chemicals that have no nutritional value. That and *gasp* I actually like cooking and doing home-maker type stuff. I know, I know. Psycho stuff, right?

We garden. We compost. We buy local as much as possible. I’ve cut back our processed food consumption by…well…a lot. I serve homemade meals instead. I’ve even taken the extra step and have learned how to can. I’ve been using a water bath to seal my jars, but in hopes of preserving more of our home harvest (and taking advantage of farmer’s market deals), hubby ordered me a pressure canner today and I’M SO EXCITED. That’s what gets me all worked up, folks.

And you know, nothing feels quite as awesome as your kindergartener bragging to his classmates that he has a “mama jam” sandwich on homemade bread. The other kids were in awe…they didn’t even know you could make that. He puffed up his chest and told him that his mommy can and does. Oh yes. We have mama jam, mama sauce, mama bread, etc. He has tried to throw away store bought when he realizes that I’ve made some instead. That right there makes me feel like super woman.

Speaking of the kiddo…he was a picky kid. Operative word being was. Like most kids, he would turn his nose up at anything green or fell under the guise of vegetable. Now that he has been able to see his food grow from a seed, I think he has more appreciation for it. I’m still coping with the fact that he happily asks how many handfuls of spinach he can have or sings songs about having squash for dinner…while still eating breakfast.

I think I might need to start posting some of those things because really, it isn’t that hard. Find a good recipe or reliable instructions and you’re good to go. Its not really crazy time consuming, which is the most common complaint. “Oh, I wish I had time”. Its really not that bad. I made a batch of pickles tonight and it took a whopping 15 minutes. Minimal effort is the name of the game, folks. It is so worth it when you have a pantry and freezer full of tasty, chemical free foods for your family.

Third Trimester!

14 Mar

Ok, cue the final countdown music 🙂 We’re officially in the third trimester and you know what? It blows. I guess it wasn’t enough that I had “morning” sickness until 20 weeks. Nahhh. We decided that I had enough of a break and started in with the nausea at just over 28 weeks. Super cool. No puking yet, but man do I feel disgusting.

I’m also not convinced I’m going to make it to 40 weeks. This little chick has made her way lower over the past week and is slowly dropping. My next prenatal is on Tuesday, so I’m curious if we can tell if she is head down. I know I still have another month or so until it really matters, but I’m curious! My bet is on May 25th.