Monday, August 14, 2017

Peach Freezer Jam

Peach Freezer Jam
The local peach crop is in this year!  That was just great news for me & my annual preparation of Peach Freezer Jam!  There are 9 containers of this yummy jam sitting on our dining room table as I am typing this.  One batch yields 9 one cup containers + a small custard cup filled with the remainder (covered with foil).

On Friday the local peaches were purchased.  The needed amount for preparing the jam was placed in paper lunch bags to ripen.  They sat (closed) on the counter for 2 days.  Yesterday, the ripened peaches went into the fridge.  Today is Peach Freezer Jam Day for me!

The process is always the same.  I use Certo liquid pectin.  The directions are found in each box of Certo.  I always read over my own Helpful Hints, too!  I make only one batch.  However, if you will be preparing 2 batches, make each batch separately.




To start, rinse the fruit under cold running water.  Use clean utensils. 

After the jam is prepared & placed in the 1 cup freezer containers & covered/ labelled, it sits undisturbed for 24 hours.  Tomorrow afternoon at 3 PM I'll be placing the Peach Freezer Jam in our large freezer!  That little custard cup?  Oh, that will be placed in our fridge to enjoy for the next couple of weeks.  :)

Freezer Jams are just the best!

We will enjoy them again this year!
Yummy!

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Colors in July

Salmon Daylilies
with Marigolds
For the past 2+ weeks our Salmon Daylilies have blossomed!  Suddenly, each morning there were 36+ blossoms to enjoy.  Every vibrant color of summer flowers are always a welcomed sight!  Some are perennials & a few others are annuals.  The Irises already blossomed, but the graceful green foliage add another shade of green to our lawn.   

Another View


A closer look-

Front Perennial Garden
with Marigolds

The saved Zinnia seeds were planted this spring.  Now, they are beginning to blossom.

Zinnias & Marigolds

Each week the view is a bit different, but always colorful & filled with flowers! 

Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

~Blueberry Freezer Jam~

Blueberry Freezer Jam
July & Blueberries go hand in hand!  It's the month when I purchase the locally grown berries from Calabrese Farms in Southwick, MA & prep them for our freezer.  3 quarts are always saved to make Blueberry Freezer Jam the next day.  It's a tradition with me.  In my mom's kitchen we made the cooked jams, but years later I learned about the easy to prepare freezer jams.  That's my "go to" method!

Certo (liquid pectin), sugar & lemon juice are the other ingredients I use.  The complete directions are found in each box of Certo.  My 1 cup Ziploc freezer containers are located & my kitchen becomes a jam kitchen.  

A certain amount of blueberries are crushed & added to sugar.  They are stirred & the process begins.  It's always handy to have all the ingredients, utensils & containers/ lids ready to use.  Time just flies by after you set the timer. 

On Monday evening 3 batches of Blueberry Freezer Jam were sitting on our dining room table for the 24 hour time period.     

***Always prepare only 1 batch at a time. 

24 hours after the lids are placed on the top (& labelled/ dated) the jams are frozen.

My additional hints for freezer jams.

Do you prepare Freezer Jams?   So delicious!

We'll enjoy it all year!
Yummy!

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Tomato & Grilled Zucchini Salad

Tomato & Grilled Zucchini Salad

When preparing dinner I usually take out my iPad, place it on my kitchen counter & cook- using recipes on my blog or others I've saved.  There are countless yummy foods that I've posted that we like.  The ingredients are usually on hand, too.          

Now, it's the time of year to BBQ!  Zucchini is a veggie that we like sauteed, but during the warmer months it finds a place on our grill whenever we're grilling dinner.  Oregano, Basil & Garlic Powder added to the Baking & Sauteing Olive Oil give that veggie great flavoring!  Usually 3 or 4 Zucchini are prepared.  They are so good! 

One of the Grilled Zucchini are not eaten at dinner.  It's saved for Tomato & Grilled Zucchini Salad the next day!  This cold salad is just yummy with a little Balsamic Vinaigrette drizzled on top!

Tomato & Grilled Zucchini Salad

Ingredients:
1- 2 Grilled Zucchini, cold (Directions for grilling) 
1 Large Tomato- cut into chunks
Feta Cheese
Balsamic Vinaigrette

Directions: 
  1. Cut Grilled Zucchini into slices.
  2. Cut Tomato into chunks.
  3. Place into serving dishes.
  4. Sprinkle on Feta Cheese.
  5. Drizzle Balsamic Vinaigrette on top.
It's a delicious cold salad!

Enjoy!
Yummy!
        

Monday, July 3, 2017

"Statue of Liberty"

"Statue of Liberty"
by
Norman Rockwell
(Courtesy of Norman Rockwell Museum)




Last year I learned of a beautiful oil painting by Norman Rockwell when I attended a lecture given by Tom Daly from the Norman Rockwell Museum (in Stockbridge, MA.)  "The Statue of Liberty" is a different view of our beloved Lady Liberty. 

On July 6, 1946 this was the cover of The Saturday Evening Post.  The men of different backgrounds are all working together to repair her torch.     

The oil painting was once owned by the film director Steven Spielberg.  In 1994 he donated it to the official White House Collection.  One day last year while watching the national news on t.v., I saw this beautiful work on display in President Barack Obama's Oval Office.

What a beautiful painting!

Have a Safe &
Happy Fourth of July!!!  

Enjoy!



Tuesday, June 27, 2017

FREE FUN FRIDAYS- 2017

FREE FUN FRIDAYS
Image courtesy of
Highland Street Foundation

Summer is here!  It's the time of year when vacations & staycations will be/ are happening!  It's time for FREE FUN FRIDAYS!!!  Friday is the day of the week when families, neighbors & friends can visit specific very cool venues in my home state of Massachusetts- without paying a General Admission fee!  This takes place through the generosity of the Highland Street Foundation.

This summer the program began last Friday, June 23rd & will continue until Friday August 25.  Every week on Friday there are 8 or 9 specific museums/ cultural events open to anyone living in, visiting, or traveling through Massachusetts.  The places to visit are located throughout the state!  If this sounds interesting to you, check out the list!

List of dates & cool places to visit with Free General Admission!

This Friday, June 30, the Springfield Museums in Springfield, MA is on the list.  There are 5 individual museums on their grounds.  Yes, this is the location of the newly opened The Amazing World of Dr. Seuss!  

The Amazing World of Dr. Seuss

The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
in Boston, MA is another wonderful place to visit this summer!  View & appreciate countless beautiful pieces of art. 


Another great destination that's located in Boston, MA is the Franklin Park Zoo.  There is so much to explore while walking outdoors!  

Old Sturbridge Village in Sturbridge, MA is another favorite.  Step back into the early 19th century & learn how daily tasks were completed.  There are water powered mills & a working farm in this rural village.

Old Sturbridge Village

Younger children & their families will also enjoy The Eric Carle Museum in Amherst, MA.  It's located in an old apple orchard.


These are only a few of the great venues to visit this summer with Free General Admission!  FREE FUN FRIDAYS are a great opportunity to learn something new while having FuN! 

Thank you Highland Street Foundation!!!
We will enjoy!

        

Saturday, June 24, 2017

~Strawberry Freezer Jam~

Strawberry Freezer Jam
Part II of my Strawberry Season is making Strawberry Freezer Jam

Back in the day I would stand over my stove, stirring the pot of crushed fruit & sugar- feeling quite warm on a summer day.  Then, one day I looked at the recipe for Strawberry Freezer Jam that was included in the Certo box's directions.  Certo is the liquid pectin that I always stirred (still do) into the fruit/ sugar mixture while making the cooked (now Freezer) jam. 

The 24 hour let it set, then freeze method looked really good, so I made a batch.  From that day on I always have made Freezer Jam! 

Hints to remember while making Freezer Jams:
  • Read the directions first & follow exactly!  
  • If you are making more than one batch, make only one batch at a time.
  • Use clean bowls & utensils.
  • Click here for more hints. 



We were missing the taste of this homemade jam.  There were no more containers of any flavor in our large freezer.  Somehow, the commercial jams, preserves, jellies just do not taste as good.

Woohoo!  It's strawberry season & my 3 batches are doing their thing on our dining room table!  Tomorrow they will be placed in our freezer!

We will Enjoy!
Yummy!