Last night Chance and I picked 3 pounds of Strawberries from the yard.This was our 3rd picking this year and since we have had our fill of fresh berries we put this picking aside for Jam.We will be using Food In Jars recipe for Strawberry Vanilla Jam minus the vanilla bean.From last nights picking we will get a double batch for now. We may do another picking and make one more batch if it works out.
|Strawberries sliced and waiting to become Jam.|
We are totally in love with small batch canning it is easy,fast and we don't end up with 500 jars of the same thing that we can't use up. I know most people want tons of extras for sharing but most of our friends can too so it is hard to find someone who would be excited about receiving jars of homemade jam.One friend of ours has started experimenting with turning extra jars of jam into fruit leather because they have been gifted so many jars.I find this to be inventive and a bit humorous,the visual in my head is a silly cartoon of a lady buried under a mountain of jars of jam with a "Help Me" flag flying above.
Now that I am working the small batch canning also fits into our schedule nicely.The recipe says start to finish 45 minutes,we can easily accomplish that after dinner.Last night Chance and I chopped and sugared the berries and put the bowl in the fridge for tonight's jam session (oops pun there.)
We also feel like the small batch canning is proof we are doing a good job around our homestead. As of last year more of what we are putting away for winter is grown right here at home by us with a zero mile footprint and totally organic.Two of our original goals when we started to push ourselves to do more for ourselves.
It's a huge feeling of accomplishment.Last night as we sliced the berries Chance and I were talking about how that bowl of berries was one of the pay offs for all of the hard work we have done over the past three plus years.I will admit that just a week or so ago I was so over the work hours we put into the garden this time of year.My body was rejecting and objecting,all I wanted to do was sit and enjoy the sunshine,not be out working in it while it was here.But that bowl of ruby red sweetness was like a big prize ribbon,although it was not blue it sure did feel like a first place prize.
Chance also picked about 1 1/2 pints of Raspberries last night that we put in the freezer.We will keep adding to the freezer bag until we have enough to make jam.It should not be long before that happens,our bushes are packed with berries this year.
I would really like to blog more about how we are feeling about where we are as homesteaders and what we hope is coming for us but I must get off to work for now.
How are your gardens growing? What are you proud of? What goals have you set for yourself?