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!
    

Friday, June 23, 2017

Fresh Local Strawberries

Local Fresh Strawberries
Today was the day!!!  Every year about the middle of June the local strawberries are ripe & ready for us to enjoy.  When visiting roadside stands or Farmer's Markets, quarts of these sweet yummy red berries are available to purchase.   It's been a tradition with me to purchase strawberries to prep for our large freezer & also to make Freezer Jam.  Oh, years ago the tradition was to go to the strawberry patch & pick the berries I needed.  Traditions change!  :)

This morning quarts of strawberries from Meadowbrook Farm in East Longmeadow, MA found their way to my kitchen.  After cutting off the tops, the strawberries were double rinsed in cold water & drained.  Then, 2 and 1/2 cups of this fruit were placed in Ziploc Freezer Bags.  Some of the larger strawberries were sliced first.  I add about 1 Tablespoon of sugar to each bag before closing.  It works well to move the sugar crystals around in the bag, so it dissolves.  Label & date each bag. 

In the winter months a defrosted bag of this yummy fruit is such a treat to top a Belgian Waffle, Yummy Oatmeal Pancakes or ice cream.

Ready for the Freezer!
Strawberries are always a 2 day project with me.  Tomorrow, I'll be making Strawberry Freezer Jam.

Do you enjoy making jams when the local fruit is available in your area?

Enjoy!
Yummy!
   
  

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Some Colors of May

Bright Pink Peonies!
Here are some of the beautiful colors of May!  We have been enjoying our flowering bushes this spring.  Now, the perennials are also bursting into color.

Lavender Chives!

These Chives always add a beautiful shade of lavender to our garden.

Bleeding Hearts
Years ago 4 small Bleeding Hearts were planted in our back garden.  Now, they've multiplied & found their spot around a large boulder.

Champagne Rhododendron
The white blossoms on the Champagne Rhododendron are dainty.

We are Enjoying Spring!
 

Monday, May 29, 2017

~Memorial Day~


Today
we remember & honor
the Men & Women 
who made the ultimate sacrifice 
for us!

Thank You!!! 




Sunday, May 28, 2017

*Blueberry Torte*

Blueberry Torte
(File Photo)
A Blueberry Torte is baking in my oven!  This dessert rates up there as one of our faves.  It's a treat that can be baked any time of the year.  When you have fresh blueberries or if you've defrosted blueberries.  For me- during the year it's when I've defrosted a bag that's in our large freezer.

It's an easy dessert!  Prepare the batter.  If the batter is too dry, I add 1- 2 Tablespoons more (Soy) Milk & continue mixing.  Place batter in a spring form pan.  Then add the fresh/ defrosted & drained blueberries & press lightly into batter.  Sprinkle on the cinnamon/ sugar mixture & bake.       

Before baking
(File Photo)




Before you know it this delicious dessert will be ready to serve!

Yum!
(File Photo)
  
 Click here for the Blueberry Torte Recipe.  It's so good with or without a small scoop of vanilla ice cream!  We do have vanilla ice cream!  :)

Enjoy!
Yummy!

Friday, May 26, 2017

Yummy Yogurt

Yummy Yogurt
Today was "time to make the yogurt"!  That seems to be every 10 days, give or take.  It's a habit I've had for... well... decades.  Today, the 2 Donvier Yogurt Makers were sitting on my kitchen counter making the next batch.  These electric yogurt makers did the work for 7 hours & 30 minutes.  Then, the individual 6 oz. containers were placed in the fridge.

Yogurt is very easy to prep!  I like the individual 6 oz. container yogurt makers.  Years ago I purchased two.  2 batches were just as easy as making a single batch. 

The process is easy!  The needed milk is boiled & then placed in a large bowl to cool to a required temperature.  My "temperature spoon" comes in handy here.  It came with the Donvier Yogurt Maker.  Then, a culture is added to the cooled milk & stirred.  Place milk in containers, snap on the lid & set the timer.



Complete directions here.
  
Yogurt is always enjoyed at lunch time here.  I like to add a little Freezer Jam & Crunchy Oats to this very tasty source of calcium!

Enjoy!
Yummy!

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Crunchy Oats

Crunchy Oats
This was the week!  I've been planning on making a batch of Crunchy Oats for about a month, now.  Those tasty little additions of oats & wheat germ that pack a lot of flavor & fiber to my daily yogurt.  I like to sprinkle about 2 teaspoons on top of my plain yogurt & then add a little Freezer Jam.  Sometimes, you see this treat sold along with single serving yogurt containers.  It's easy to add them in & enjoy the yogurt.  It's even better when you make a batch to eat whenever you want.
  
This is an "easy to prep" kind of treat!  Place all the ingredients in a bowl & combine thoroughly.  Then, in a large skillet over Medium heat, cook & also *stir constantly Cook for 5- 6 Minutes.  Place on a large pan to cool.  It's that easy!  Crunchy Oats are stored in the fridge.  It's great to have a batch to enjoy!  They taste so good on top of cold cereal, too!

*Mixture will burn if it is not constantly stirred! 

Crunchy Oats
             adapted from The Quaker Oats Wholegrain Cookbook


Ingredients:
1 & 1/4 Cups Quaker Oats (Old Fashioned)
1/3 Cup Wheat Germ
1/4 teaspoon Cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon Nutmeg
1/3 Cup Olive Oil for baking & sauteing 
1/3 Cup Honey

Method:
  1. Combine Oats & Wheat Germ in a bowl. 
  2. Add Cinnamon & Nutmeg, combine.
  3. Add Olive Oil & combine well.
  4. Then add Honey, again combine well.  Mixture is very sticky.
  5. Place mixture in large skillet.
  6. Over Medium Heat cook while constantly stirring.
  7. Cook for 5- 6 Minutes.
  8. Then place Crunchy Oats on cookie pan to cool.
  9. After cooling, place in air tight container & store in fridge. 
After placing in the air tight container, I shake the container to break up any large clumps.  They store well for 3 months in the fridge.  My container will be empty before 3 months passes.  :)  This is a great tasty add in!

Enjoy!
Yummy!