Monday, 6 January 2014

Pop

Jarred homemade strawberry jam

^POP^ was the sound I heard from the kitchen yesterday afternoon when I was pottering around the house doing jobs. For a split second I thought 'what was that' and then it dawned on me that the jars of strawberry jam that I just made were making their airtight seal. I chose to use a variety of sized jars, including a swing top, just to mix things up a little, so that's probably why the pops came at different times.

The local fruit shop was selling a box of strawberries for $8 which was a sign telling me to make strawberry jam, and to my surprise the strawberries were almost as yummy as the handful or so that I pick from my veggie patch most days. We had strawberries for dessert, strawberries with yoghurt for breakfast the next day and then I finally managed to make time to make the jam. By which point a few of the strawberries were good for the chickens...I should have put all the punnets in the fridge when I got home but I had grand plans of making jam that night. Seriously, I should just accept the fact that after 3:30pm I am Lara's cow and anything that takes more than thirty minutes to achieve needs to be put on the back burner for the next day.

Strawberries for $8 a tray, how could I walk past them?

Making jam is basically using a shit load of sugar to preserve a fruit which is already packed full of its own natural sugars, seriously, it is equal parts sugar to fruit. At least I can be self righteous knowing that there aren't any preservatives in my jam. I used a recipe from Preserves by Pam Corbin as a guide because I didn't have any where near the amount of jam setter that she suggests in the house, and I wasn't going back out to the shops. I also reduced the amount of lemon juice somewhat just because it seemed like a lot, and I'm glad I did because Mark's and my taste test this morning proved that the tartness was definitely there, and anymore would be too much.

Homemade strawberry jam on store bought Soy and Linseed bread, next stop homemade bread.

This was the first time I made jam (Mark normally makes it) and I thoroughly enjoyed the process. I forgot the put a saucer in the fridge before I started to be able to test the setting point, so I used the spoon method and I'm pretty happy with the consistency. Not to mention the flavour that is absolutely delicious. One thing I did think to do was place the sterilised jars in a baking tray for easy pouring. I'm thinking that a jar of homemade strawberry jam will be a lovely gift with a homemade candle, so that is my next project-around planting some flowers and herbs in the veggie garden and getting some leafy green seedlings started.

Jars of homemade strawberry jam, yummo.

This full time Mum/housewife gig isn't easy when you set challenges for yourself like feeding the family from the garden and making things from scratch, but it sure is rewarding. I wonder if I can make a loaf of bread before heading out tomorrow. Yes, that's right, I'm going to get back in to baking bread, and if I manage to make a loaf tomorrow it won't be Paleo, but it also won't be stuffed full of preservatives.

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