Saturday, June 19, 2010

Smuckers, Move Over!

I made strawberry jam this week, and I don't think there are many sounds more satisfying than the "doink" of jar lids popping after you've canned something.  It didn't happen immediately - I was washing things up and finally heard one.  All the rest were sealed by bedtime except one, which did its thing by morning - so we didn't have to eat that jar right away.  The extra that wouldn't fit in the jars is in a bowl in the refrigerator - delicious on my morning toast!

I can't remember the last time we made strawberry jam - we did some blueberry a couple years ago.  I had forgotten how much effort it seems to be for 8- 8 ounce jars.  Or how much it costs!  This home cooking project is not saving money - berries seem pricey this year at 2 quarts for $4.50, pectin for $2.79, and 7 cups of sugar - I don't know how much a bag costs, so can't factor that in.  But the aroma of strawberries bubbling on the stove, like a lot of things done from scratch, is priceless. 

We enjoyed a new pizza this week using Swiss Chard from the garden - I'm studying gardening blogs and will add this recipe to the repertoire.  I'm not sure how much just plain steamed Swiss Chard I'd want to consume this summer - and the four foot long row seems prepared to keep us in greens all season. 

The Farmer's Market has started up and I've purchased scallions, asparagus, strawberries and green beans.  I quite happily walked right on by the lettuce the other day - selling for $2 a bunch.  We're eating lettuce frequently in salads and Paul puts it on his sandwich every day.  I 've lost count of the number of bags I've given away, though when I offered some to our neighbor he smiled, and said, "I'm no rabbit!"  Even so, I've saved multiple two dollars's already this summer!  It's a blessing how God can take a tiny seed, add water and sunshine and make things grow.

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