Ever since I was a little girl I loved seeing bags of frozen berries defrosting in the fridge. I knew what was coming that evening…jam making with my daddy! Strawberry, Raspberry, Blueberry, Grape, Peach…we have made it all! Growing up Daddy would always use pectin in his jam making. It wasn’t until I was out on my own that I decided to experiment with my own jam making in my own house. That is when I came across the book The Joy of Jams, Jellies, and Other Sweet Preserves. Every recipe used simply fruit, sugar, lemon and a candy thermometer to make the jam. The rest of the recipes used the same techniques as my dad’s pectin recipes. I had to try it!
|See that beautiful wooden plate?
Ya, my amazingly talented Papa made that for me!
I was born and raised in NH. Needless to say I have some pretty thick blood from these cold NH winters. But this year has been abnormally cold! Yes, winters are usually very long…but something about this year seems even longer. I am so ready for summer! So for my mom’s birthday I decided to make Strawberry Shortcakes to help bring a little bit of summer into our day. The strawberries were frozen from dad’s garden last June. And boy were they delish! Buttermilk shortcakes with fresh whipped cream and a few sprigs of mint from my window herb garden…yum yum!
The other day I did a little bit of spring cleaning in my chest freezer. And boy did I hit the jackpot! I found all sorts of goodies from my dad's garden: blueberries, raspberries, peaches, and a large bag of Roma tomatoes. I never have time in the summer to make big batches of marinara sauce, so I freeze the Roma tomatoes to turn into sauce in the winter. After washing the tomatoes I just cut the stem end off and thrown them in gallon bags. That's it! No blanching or peeling. Because….
I love trying a new recipe. I really do. Just recently I printed 4 different recipes for chocolate chip cookies. I plan on baking them all and see which one my family likes best. But there are some recipes that I just won’t mess with.
Take for instance my grandma’s flaky pie crust recipe. Old fashioned, made with shortning, nice and flaky…oh yes. This recipe even calls for a splash of vinegar (don’t worry! you won’t taste it!) which helps make the crust even more flaky!