Stewart, that is. I thought I’d start a new blog full of recipes, crafts, and just stuff I’m interested in or have found useful. I’m not the craftiest person. I’m not the best cook. But I do have lots to say and now you all can partake. But let’s face it, I’m no Martha.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Freezer Jam

Strawberry season is one of my favorite times of the year. We have a tradition where we go and pick strawberries as a family. A couple of years we went late and they were very picked over. We’ve learned and gone in late April or early May and have gotten the cream of the crop. This year we bought 3 boxes full. We weren’t sure if it would be too much but ended up being just perfect. There were enough to eat and snack on, some to freeze whole for smoothies, and then some for JAM! I have made it a few times with my mom and it’s a day long commitment. However, it’s well worth the work to have freezer jam instead of the store bought kind. Last year I made my own and I ran out. This year I made 9 Tupperware full. I think that should last us. Here’s what I do (it’s just from the recipe in the box and everyone does it a little differently).


Here is what you need:

TONS of Sugar
Pectin – aka – Sure Jell (powder or liquid)
(directions are inside of the package)

1. Clean and Rinse your Strawberries.
2. Cut the stems off of each and place them in a large bowl (or pot).
3. It says in the directions to mash them one cup at a time. I did a MUCH larger amount because I didn’t want to be mashing all day. A potato masher works best but you can use a large fork or whatever you have on hand. When you mash your strawberries it’s ok to have chunks. Jam is SUPPOSED to have chunks of fruit in it.


4. Take your freshly mashed strawberries and measure out 2 cups. Then measure 4 cups of sugar (this may be too much for some… it IS a lot of sugar. Feel free to cut the sugar amount to make it more towards your liking.) Let it sit for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

*Depending on the type of pectin this next step may vary. If you use the powdered kind your measure 3/4 cup of water and combine with the pectin to a boil. Stir for a full minute while boiling and then add it to your sugar/strawberry combination.

*Liquid pectin does not require boiling. BUT you WILL NEED LEMON JUICE. It’s 2TBS of Lemon Juice and one liquid package of pectin. Combine. Add to your sugar/strawberry combination.

5. Set your timer for 3 minutes and stir constantly for the next 3 minutes (strawberries, pectin, and sugar combo). I usually taste mine the at the end to see if it’s still grainy. If it feels gritty keep stirring for an extra minute or so.

6. Once finished, pour into air tight containers. I use Tupperware, however, my mother in law saves different containers such as sour cream containers to store them in. Which is smart and cost effective. Either works just fine.

7. Let the jam sit out for 24 hours before freezing. DO NOT SKIP THE STEP.

8. Freeze and enjoy when ready!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Finishing Touches

I finished this baby blanket. It wasn’t hard by any means, but it was time consuming. And it turned out a little smaller then I wanted, but it’s for a baby so I was ok with it. Here is the finished project.


Homemade Kettle Corn

DROOOOOLLL… I love this stuff. I wait every year for the NC State Fair to come in October so I can stuff my face full of this stuff. It’s one of my favorites. Well after many many tries, I have perfected popping this delectable snack on my stove… without burning it… which is a challenge in itself.  It’s really easy (once you get the hang of it) and TOTALLY worth it. Here’s some step by step instructions. Try it!!


What you’ll need:

  • A bag of popcorn kernels – 1/2 cup
  • 1/4 oil
  • 1/4 sugar
  • salt – sprinkle to your hearts desire

Make sure you use a large pot that has a fitted lid.
Take your oil and pour into pot.
Heat your burner to a medium-high heat.
Drop in 3 popcorn kernels.
Put your lid on and listen carefully.


When you hear 3 pops, take off your lid and add in your 1/2 cup of kernels and your sugar and stir around (do all of this quickly). Replace your lid again and lower your heat a little (medium- low). I keep the pan moving back and forth until I hear popping. Once it gets pretty active in there lift your pot every 3 counts, and then lower it on the heat again. Repeat. Sometimes I don’t even put it back on the heat and I just keep my shaking it back and forth in the air. Make sure you have one hand firmly on the lid and use 2 pairs of oven mitts (one for each hand) because the oil may pop out of the lid a little. Once the kernels have stopped popping open your lid and add your salt. I usually just put some in the palm of my hand and sprinkle it (like feeding the chickens). Be sure to stir it so the salt covers evenly. It’s really hot when it first comes out so let it cool (especially for the kids). The darker pieces are where the sugar has caramelized. Sooo Yummy!! Enjoy and don’t get discouraged if it doesn’t come out perfect the first time. Practice makes perfect!