Blueberry Jam

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In yesterday's post I offered the world's easiest blueberry preservation technique- freezing.  I also promised to provide an overview on how to make blueberry jam.  I'm a gal of my word, so as promised, I put together a primer on making and canning blueberry jam.  First, a couple words of caution:   This recipe is specifically for blueberries.  While the principles of canning remain the same if you're using other fruits, you cannot switch out blueberries for something else in the preparation of the recipe.  If you have other fruit, use a recipe tailored for that fruit so you can maintain the proper levels of acidity and sugar to preserve your jam best.  Have your mise en place ready to go.  (Repetitively redundant, I know...)  Think of making this like you would  a stir-fry.  If you try to measure things out and run around to find implements you'll run the risk of ruining it.  This is not a walk-away-and-do-other-things project. Once you make your own jam you will be very, very bitter if you have to purchase jam at the store.  The flavor and cost of homemade jam will convert you powerfully fast! Onto business...   Blueberry Jam Primer and Recipe   Ingredients for approximately 6 cups of jam: 4 cups sugar, measured into a mixing bowl 6 cups whole, clean, very fresh blueberries 1 package powdered pectin (not liquid!)   Sugar, blueberries and pectin for jam.     Hardware Needed for Canning 6 Cups of Jam: 3 sterilized pint jars (for … {Read on...}

Blueberry Crisp and How to Freeze Blueberries

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"One berry, two berry, pick me a blueberry. Hat berry, shoe berry in my canoeberry. Under the bridge and over the dam. Looking for berries.  Berries for jam!" from 'Jamberry' by Bruce Degen     It's blueberry season!  Find a local U-Pick place, grab your large kitchen bowls and get yourself some blue gold.      Blueberries are serious power food.  Not only are they delicious, but they are very low on the glycemic index, which makes it wonderful for folks battling blood sugar problems or struggling with their weight.  They're jam (ha!) packed with incredibly high levels of antioxidants, flavanoids, fiber, Vitamin C and folic acid.   In lab tests, blueberries have been shown to reduce the risk of cancer, heart disease, ill effects of aging (um, what are good effects of aging?), vision loss, and urinary tract infections.  They've also been proven to make you more attractive.  (Not really, just making sure you're paying attention!)   Adding to blueberries' charms is the fact that they're super simple to prepare.  You don't have to peel, pit, chop or core them.    And since this is my birthday week -because I stretch my birthday festivities out to cover an entire week*- I decided to haul the kids out to the blueberry patch for the day.  While the kids covered themselves in SPF 4000, I pulled a gallon of water, sliced a loaf of bread for power-munching with berries, grabbed a bag of chips and a container of dip and slid the lot into our cooler.  I … {Read on...}

Last non-food post. You know what I’m sayin’?

We're home safe and sound from our weekend get-away. I have to say two more unrelated food things and then I'll get back to the business at hand. It was unbelievably wonderful to spend some time alone with my husband. It was unbelievably wonderful to come home to my kids and their hugs.   Okay, one last non-food related item.  Weird Al was hilarious and I highly recommend catching one of his shows.  They combine his musicality (astonishingly good) with his humour (astonishingly juvenile.)  That's the perfect recipe for a hilarious night!  They aired this "interview" at the show on Saturday.   It was a very, very, good time!     … {Read on...}

White and Nerdy!

I am taking the weekend off!  My husband and I are going to get away for a night for the first time since we've had kids (that equals 10 years for those of you who wonder...)   I've spent the night away from the kids before, but it was when I was in the hospital having more kids, so I'm pretty sure that doesn't count as "getting away".    We're going to revel in our nerditude (New word.  I just made it up but it describes us to a tee.  When we were dating my husband's niece and nephews called us 'King and Queen Geek'.)  We're going to catch a Weird Al show.    White & Nerdy from waymoby on Vimeo.   When my husband bought these tickets for me as a Mother's Day present he told some of his co-workers about our plans.  One of them said, "Weird Al?  That's cool!"  To which my husband, The Evil Genius, replied, "No.  No it isn't.  And that's why we're going."  I love him.   We're going to get dinner at a real, honest-to-goodness restaurant where I will pay people to cook for me and clean up after me.  We will have wine with dinner and we will,   *wait for it because it's worth it*,   go home IN THE MORNING!     Thank you for the gratis babysitting, Nana.  You rock. … {Read on...}

Walking on Broken Glass

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"Lift me up and take me back Don't let me keep on walking... Walking on broken glass Walking on walking on broken glass" Annie Lennox   This song has been tearing through my head lately.  We have had an abnormally high number of broken dishes around chez us lately.  In the last two weeks someone or another has broken one plate, a pasta bowl, three drinking jars (I use them for canning, too...), and the gallon jar that was used for storing granola.  I was doing mostly fine with it.  I only freaked out a little over the gallon jar, but that's because it fell off the top of the fridge, hit a teapot and my Kitchen Aid mixer on the way down, shattered on the countertop and then the remaining pieces shattered on the floor.  That was a bit of work.  Thankfully, The Evil Genius was home and -between the two of us- we kept the kids out of the way and got the glass cleaned up thoroughly.    My eyes have had a great work-out while searching really hard for every last shard each time something broke so that I wouldn't have to dig it out of a little tootsie.  I was even okay when one of my jars lost its bottom in the canner yesterday.  I didn't even think about the fact that I lost a potential jar of pickles more than twice...   ...Then "it" happened.  Ty was spinning around on a rotating stool. (WHY did we put those near the computer desk?)  He twirled around once, kicked my favorite tea cup (the big, well-used, well-loved "One Good Woman" mug) and somehow when … {Read on...}