Happy Valentine’s Day!

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This is what I made the family for breakfast today — heart shaped pancakes (no form, just spooning the batter on the griddle in the heart shape) with strawberry jam/syrup. Each year when strawberry season comes around, I buy a couple flats of strawberries and make freezer jam. It tastes like fresh strawberries, and what could be better when there’s a foot of snow outside? This is how my Grandmother made it, but I think it may also be the same as the recipe inside the Fruit Jell box.
Strawberry Freezer Jam
1 quart strawberries
2 cups crushed berries
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
4 cups sugar
3/4 cups water
1 pouch Fruit Jell pectin

Wash and prepare fruit. Combine fruit, lemon juice and sugar; let stand 10 minutes.
Combine water and pectin in small sauce pan. Boil one minute, stirring constantly.
Add cooked pectin to fruit mixture and stir for 3 minutes.
Ladle into 8 oz jars, leaving ½ inch head space. Screw caps on finger tight. Let jam set 12 hours and put in freezer. Will keep in refrigerator up to 3 weeks.
If you double the recipe it will not set firmly and you will have syrup rather than jam, it’s great with pancakes, waffles and french toast!

It makes plain old pancakes:

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look and taste much better:

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Blogging and Canning Peaches . . . but not at the same time

I’ve got to start running Ball canning adds or something . . . I get some ten hits a day on ‘canning peaches’. The Husband says I need to put the real instructions on here b/c people don’t want to have to wait to get the Blue book . . . they have peaches *now*.

I do it a lot like the people at this site except I put the peaches in my sink and pour boiling water over them and then drain the water out after a minute and rinse them with very cold water for several minutes (rather than dipping into boiling water to scald and then dipping into an ice bath). Also, I don’t do a steam bath; I put them in a canner with enough boiling water to cover the lids and then process at a simmer for 20 min for quart jars. Now you know! 😉

Fruit of my labors

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Finally, after three days of bits and bits of canning, I’ve finished the 2 bushels of peaches (well, except the few I held back so I can make a peach pie for the Husband tomorrow)! Pictured here are the 41 qts of sliced peaches (after Kid#4 tossed a qt on the floor) as well as 3 qts, 5 – 12 oz and 12 – 8 oz jars of peach jam/syrup. They look so pretty all lined up. One of my pictures clearly shows the ‘Kerr’ on a close-up of a jar but when I tried to do the same with one that reads ‘golden harvest’, the pixels apparently weren’t up to irony today. I also made a couple quarts of peach sorbet. Can’t wait to try that!

Canning peaches

Tuesday I have a date with a friend to make a run to Arthur for peaches and to stop at the cabinet outlet. I love going to visit the farm country — it makes me a wee bit nostaligic for farm life, although I don’t miss the stench and the filth that can be associated with it.

Why is fruit in season in the hottest part of the year so that one must have several burners of the stove turned on when it is 99 F and one is struggling to keep one’s home air conditioned to a balmy temp? Why can’t peaches and pears ripen in, say . . . December? or January?

***PS — This post is getting more traffic than anything here . . . if you are looking for instructions for canning peaches, check out my more recent entry here. Enjoy the canning season!