Thursday, June 18, 2009

Preserving a bit of early summer in a jar


When I was quite young, my Gram planted a strawberry patch simply because I loved them. Over the years, the patch grew and produced more berries than we could eat fresh, so Gram began making freezer jam and freezing bags of sliced, sugared berries that could be thawed for strawberry shortcakes or topping ice cream even in the middle of winter. With strawberries in season, my boys and I enjoyed the annual Strawberry Festival at Triple B Farms this past weekend. We enjoyed a breakfast of strawberry pancakes and bought strawberries to bring home. Today, faced with the fact that we'd eaten all we could before they got to the point of being overly ripe, we decided to preserve our own small bit of early summer in jars. Sadly, these five jars won't last long once they start having peanut butter and strawberry jelly sandwiches or jam on toast so we'll be making more early next week. Fortunately, freezer jam is quite easy to make.

Strawberry Freezer Jam
2 cups crushed strawberries (we use a potato masher)
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
4 cups sugar
(1) 1.75 oz. pkg. fruit pectin
3/4 cup water

1. Combine fruit and lemon juice in a large bowl. Add sugar, mix thoroughly. Let stand 10 minutes.
2. Combine fruit pectin and water in a small saucepan. Bring water to a rolling boil and boil, while stirring, for 1 minute.
3. Add cooked pectin to fruit mixture. Stir for 3 minutes.
4. Ladle jam into jars (I save ones we've emptied over the year, then clean, & sterilize them) , leaving 1/2 inch head space. Apply caps and let jam stand in refrigerator until set, but no more than 24 hours. Serve immediately, refrigerate up to 3 weeks, or freeze up to 1 year.
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Sunday, June 7, 2009

Come Visit Me at the I Made It! Cozy Market Today

Curious about what I've been making lately? In the Pittsburgh area and just want to stop by and say hello or purchase unique handcrafted goods from talented artisans?

I'll be at the I Made It! Cozy at the American Jewish Museum SUNDAY, June 7 from 2 - 6 pm. Enter the JCC on Darlington Road (near Forbes Ave.)

40+ local craftspeople come together to celebrate the American Jewish Museum's current exhibit, Nests, and to offer crafty objects for your own nest. Artist Anna Divinsky examines birds' nests as a metaphor for Jewish immigrants finding and building new homes in the United States. She is creating a larger-than-life nest installation in the museum and leading workshops with people of different age groups from diverse communities, exploring memories of leaving home and building a new life. During I Made It! Cozy, Ms. Divinsky will give demonstrations about her techniques and conduct workshops with visitors.

I Made It! vendors will be contributing handmade items to be auctioned off with proceeds benefiting the American Jewish Museum.

To learn more about the AJM and Anna Divinsky's exhibition, visit the AJM's website.To learn about some of the IMI vendors participating in this market, visit the IMI blog.

In July, I can also be found vending on the South Side as I Made It! Market joins the South Side Works' EXPOSED ARTIST'S MARKET

July 10, 5 - 10 pm July 11, 2 - 10 pm July 12, 2 - 6 pm

Spend an afternoon and stay into the evening...wander through the artist's market to find fine arts and unique one-of-a-kind goods, stay and dine in the South Side Works or enjoy festival foods from local vendors. Check out the sidewalk sales and enjoy the lineup of live musicians.
Vendors: Apply Here

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