Check out my cute new niece (above)....isn't she beautiful??
I have been on a home-made goodness craze lately. I am not sure why, but I get a huge thrill from making my own stuff. I love growing my own edibles, making my own bread/butter/whatever, sewing and crafting things. You name it, I would probably get a kick out of it.
This past Saturday, I ventured into the business of fresh jam. Dustin has a grandmother figure that makes the best strawberry jam/preserves (not sure of the difference, enlighten me please) I've ever put in my mouth. I wasn't even thinking of comparing or attempting to compare this strawberry-kiwi jam to her goodness, but it sure is good.
Kim had left a recipe at our house for this jam, so I decided in honor of Kim, and because Dustin would LOVE it, and because I've never made jam before, I was going to make this jam.
If you would like to taste a piece of pure joy, here's what you'll need (also see original recipe here at Better Homes & Gardens.com, it won a $500 prize, oh yeah!).
|1 Tbsp. Lemon juice, 3 lbs. strawberries, 3 med. kiwi,|
1 Tbsp. crystallized ginger, 1 tsp. orange zest,
1- 1.75 pkg. fruit pectin, 1 Tbsp. butter, Dash of salt,
and 5c. sugar
1. Hull and Quarter 3 cups of berries (that's 1.5 lbs. or cartons, if you buy in the 1lb. plastic containers).
I spent the first part of my morning hulling and quartering the berries and peeling and finely chopping the kiwi.
It was so pleasant. I stationed myself outside on a quilt, in the warm sun, huller and knife in hand, mixing bowl at my side. That plus the sweet smell of the berries was enough to plunge me back into the early 20th century. I was in heaven, for sure.
P.S. after this step I realized I had purchased and dissected 3LBS! of berries...not 3 cups. The more the merrier, right? With this jam, it couldn't have been a better mistake. If this happens to you, just double the rest of the ingredients. Like me.
Here's what it looked like.
2. Next, slightly mash the fruit.
Mash as much or as little as you like. Depends on how chunky you like your fruit.
3. In a Dutch Oven, or large pot, combine all ingredients EXCEPT sugar. Heat on Med. High, stirring constantly, until mixture come to a rolling boil.
I love my cast iron Dutch Oven (thanks Dad & Becca). Cast Iron rocks, and if you like to camp they are AMAZING on the camp fire. It truly is a science and art all rolled into one.
See how yummy it looks already. So red and juicy! The seeds are all that's left that resembles the kiwi...don't worry, the kiwi shows up in full force when you taste it.
4. Add sugar. Return to boiling; boil 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Skim off foam with a metal spoon.
Dustin took care of the stirring. He's like a kid in a candy store when it comes to homemade, fresh, sugary stuff. I love to watch that. It's a beautiful thing.
5. Ladle jam into hot, sterilized half-pint canning jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace.
If you want to actually can this stuff, by-all-means, have at it. We didn't go that far due to the fact that we are giving most of the jars away to friends, who I am sure will eat it before the shelf life is up.
My double-batch made 5 half pints and 4 full pints.
Aren't they pretty?
|Summer In A Jar|
Also, I must confess, I made buttermilk biscuits, from scratch. Even though you could eat this jam by the spoonfuls (ahem...Dustin), I like to eat my jam on a biscuit (or toast). Plus, I just got a biscuit cutter from my great-grandma. Let's just say the cutter was the excuse to make the biscuits. Check it out.
It worked like a charm!
A Pile of Yummy
The biscuits turned out great all on their own. However, I am was a little indulgent and added, not only the jam, but also some dee-licous homemade butter. Yep...butter, jam, and biscuit. Super healthy. Definitely good!
Making your own butter is so easy it's stupid. I don't know who told me that making butter is a chore, but they lied to me. First, if you have a food processor, you're in a good spot. If you don't have one, like myself, then get ready for a great arm workout. This a workout that has two kinds of results in one. You know, like killing two birds with one stone. This is that idiom in action. (Actually it's like killing three birds with one stone because you not only get butter, but also buttermilk).
Instructions found here.
Please, just look at this butter doing it's thang:
Nothing Short of a Masterpiece
Give it a try...you'll love it!