Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Back to school SALE!!!

It's that time again folks. All our kiddos are headed back to school, and what better way to celebrate than to have a sale!!!

For the entire month of September, I will be running a 30% off sale on applicable items. These include my handcrafted spiral bound notebooks/journals, handcrafted sketch books and alcohol marker books, as well as my hook rolls that can double as a pencil/pen roll. I will add custom orders for pencil/pen rolls to the sale as well if any orders are places so that customers can enjoy the discount on those orders.

Visit my Etsy shop to take advantage of these great savings!

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Strawberry Lemonade Jam

Holy cow guys! I did it. I made jam for the first time!

Absolutely delicious; the flavor is tart and refreshing. The recipe produced 8 half pint jars... There's only 5 left and it's only been a few days. I'm pretty sure the kiddos ate an entire jar in a day. It isn't what I always viewed a jam to be. When you purchase jams in the store, they're smooth and easily spreadable without any chunks of fruit. It was usually what I preferred. Not anymore! This recipe produced chunks of tart tasting strawberry that gave a burst of amazing flavor that I now adore.

I found the recipe for this jam online and modified it a bit. The original recipe doesn't use any pectin and I wanted to keep it that way. Instead of adding store bought pectin, it used fresh lemon juice and lemon zest. It was also considered to be a low sugar recipe due to it having more fruit than sugar. I did a lot of searching through recipes and found that most jam and jelly recipes call for a LOT of sugar. Not this one. There was more than twice as much fruit by weight than sugar, so I was pretty happy with this.

You can see the yummy bits of strawberry in the image above. 

So, without further ado, the recipe!

Strawberry Lemonade Jam
  • 4 lbs fresh ripe strawberries
  • 2 1/2 cups sugar (I used unprocessed cane sugar, but white sugar will suffice.)
  • The juice and zest of two large lemons. (Approximately 1/4 cup of juice.)
First you MUST properly sterilize the jars. Most canning jar manufacturer websites will have detailed instructions for doing this. Another tip is to place 2 small plates in the freezer a couple of hours before you start making your jam.

Roughly mash the strawberries into small chunks. I used a potato masher for this step, but it you'd like a more uniformed texture, you can use a food processor or blender to do this step.

Add all ingredients to a clean pot on the stove and heat over medium heat, stirring continuously so that the sugar doesn't scorch. When it starts to simmer, reduce heat to medium low and continue to stir.

After about 20 minutes of simmering, you should notice a small amount of thickening. Use one of the plates from the freezer and add a small amount of the jam to the plate. Rake your finger through the center of the jam. If it flows back together, it is not ready and needs to simmer a bit longer (This is where the extra plate comes in handy). If it does not spread back together, it has properly jelled and is ready to be put in jars. 

Once you have your jars filled and the lids on and finger tight, you'll want to pop these back in the pot of water to seal the jars. The water should be at least an inch over the tops of the jars. Don't worry, finger tight is just tight enough to keep the water out of the jars. You'll want to boil these for approximately 10 minutes. Carefully take the jars out of the boiling water and place on a cooling rack or folded towel. Wait for it... This is the bit I found exciting. After the jars are removed from the boiling water, within a couple of minutes, you should hear a very satisfying 'pop' come from each of the jars. This is the little button on the top of the jar being sucked in by the pressure that's been building inside the jar. It is the best indication that the jar is properly sealed and ready for storage.

This jam is good for up to a year if it has properly sealed. If the jar, for any reason, doesn't seal properly, you'll want to consume it within about a week. (I have my doubts about it lasting that long. hehe) 

So, there you have it. A deliciously yummy jam that's great on toast and even ice cream and deserts.
Thanks for stopping by! 

a.k.a. LadyInnominate ~ YouTube
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