Saturday, June 2, 2012

Tastes like summer!

I have this problem - I don't like to sit still when I'm told to do so.  I'm having a difficult time just resting, especially when I get a day when I feel okay for several hours.  But then I tend to over do it when I feel well.  So right now I'm exhausted and have been resting for most of the day.  The products of yesterday afternoon and this morning are so delicious and were so fun to make, it's been worth it!  I have six days until surgery and after that I will rest for a good long while until I don't hurt.  I've resolved that for now when the discomfort's not too bad and I have a bit of energy, I'm letting myself escape this torture called homeboundness with a little domestic pleasure of canning sunshine!

I love to open a can and taste the summer - especially on a cold, cloudy winter day.  Even if I can't get into the garden, take the kids picking, or go to the market, I'm glad that I'm able to can a little of what I'm missing.

My very generous mom came over yesterday afternoon with loads of beautiful local produce.  I called her on Wednesday evening during a spark of inspiration - Pinterest and blog reading can do that.  I asked if she could get her hands on some sweet cherries, sour cherries, and strawberries - only if she could find good ones that weren't water logged - we had our fair share of rain during May in New Jersey this year.  Similar weather last year and the strawberries tasted like water.  Blah.

Well, sour cherries weren't ready, but sweet were and she picked me four pounds - I'll be making preserves on Monday with those, once I've regained some of my energy that my spark of inspiration zapped from me.

The strawberries she brought to me, oh divinity!  I wish I'd photographed them before we started sorting them.  They weren't perfect, but just a day from being - well great for the composter!  They were sweet and sticky and my fingertips were red with their juice as I sorted them.

First I made strawberry lemonade concentrate that I saw on Freida Loves Bread a couple of weeks ago.  I made a bit more than half a batch, didn't have enough lemons to make a full batch.  It is the best pink lemonade I've ever had!  Well, of course, because it was homemade!  For the recipe, I used 2.25c each of the puree (with seeds removed), lemon juice, and sugar.  Enough for three jars and one glass of sunshine!  They're already downstairs in the canning closet, I didn't feel like fetching them to photograph - but you can get the idea if you look at Freida's blog.

I had made enough puree to do a full batch of the strawberry lemonade concentrate - before I realized I was lacking in the lemon department.  With the extra, my mom made strawberry water ice for my boys.  I have two shirts with strawberry stains to tackle sometime before they get forgotten, but it's so worth it with as much fun as they had making and eating that summertime treat!

Last night I prepped a double batch strawberry vanilla jam featured on Food in Jars a couple weeks ago.  This morning I cooked the strawberries down with sugar and a split and scraped vanilla bean and the zest and juice of two lemons at the very end.  Oh the delicious smell that filled our home!  It made more than I anticipated - nearly eight jam jars.  The one that's not quite full is going into the fridge to enjoy with the family this week.  My boys love the taste of the jam bits that I was able to scrape from the pot after I'd canned all that I could get into the jars.  It tastes like summer.

I think that I'll be making strawberry ice cream with one of those jars this summer.  I have a double tub ice cream maker that I haven't used since before my seven-year-old was born.  I know where it is.  It needs dusting off.  They would have such a spectacular time making ice cream!

This is what was left of the one quart of strawberries in the fridge waiting to be eaten - before dinner.  My boys had at least half with dinner.  They won't last long, the season is short but, oh, so sweet!

I've rested most of today and definitely will be resting tomorrow.  I'm feeling the pain of not subscribing to the regimen of rest.  I'll get another spark of inspiration and make the sweet cherry preserves early next week, before I'm to rest and heal for a while - without complaint.

Thanks for stopping by, have a blessed weekend!

1 comment:

  1. This morning Ean and I had the strawberry vanilla jam on toasted English muffins for breakfast. It's soft set, but so incredibly good! His comment, "Mom, your strawberry jam is the best that I've ever had!" I love him!