Seven Quick Takes

Let's get this sad news out of the way first.  It looks like our Maggie cat is gone.  I didn't want to admit it but it's true.  About two weeks ago she slipped out the door which was not like her at all.  She is such a fraidy cat outside and the times she has been outside she was scared to leave the porch.  She ran off and we haven't seen her and none of the neighbors have either.  We keep hoping that some compassionate person took her in and she found a good home but I'm not thinking that is too likely.  So sad.  She is the sweetest cat in the world and I feel guilty that we didn't protect her better.

So...we're going to talk about other things.  I froze a whole bunch of the blueberries we picked last weekend.  Do you know the best thing about organic blueberries?  You don't have to wash them.  I'm serious.  If you plan on freezing them, there is no reason to wash them.  They're clean and they haven't been sprayed and if you wash them then you have all that water that needs to dry completely before you freeze them or it will make them all mushy in the freezer.  So do yourself a favor, keep them dry, and don't wash them.

Do you know the best way to freeze blueberries?  Don't be offended if you already know but I feel like this is one of those little tips that someone may not know and then will have a life-changing blueberry freezing experience once I tell them.  Freeze them on trays first.  I know.  Mind-blowing.  Take those dry unwashed blueberries and freeze a trayful at a time.  If you have sprayed berries, please wash them thoroughly and make sure they are completely dry before freezing.  Once they are completely frozen, dump them into your end container.  It takes a bit more time but SO worth it to have individually frozen berries that can be easily measured for recipes and don't get all mushy and frozen together when you need to use them.  Life changed?  Good.


These are the programs I made for my sister's wedding.  I was sort of proud of them.  You can add this to the list of things I opted to do in a much more complex, time-consuming, and elaborate way than necessary.  I can't help it.  I get an idea in my head and I can't unthink it and then to do anything less is just...less.

I canned some of our strawberries into jam the other day.  I used Pomona's Universal Pectin a friend had recommended found at the health food store.  With that stuff you can use like a 1/4 of the sugar/sweetener that you normally would and it still gels up wonderfully and it's all naturally derived.  The normal stuff normally takes a 1:1 ratio of sugar to fruit!  The jam tastes great but for some reason settled like this:

I wonder if I just needed to mash up the berries more?  I like to have real fruit pieces in there so I didn't completely blend it all together so it looks rather funny in the jar.  The jam is now being used as a bribing tool with the boys...

like the other day when the boys ASKED to go to morning Mass.  How awesome is that?  And who could say no (without feeling horribly awfully guilty)?  So we went and if they were on their BEST behavior they would've earned jam on their lunch sandwich (instead of the standard honey).  They did well but didn't earn it.  I have high jam-winning standards.

My quick takes are always quite long, aren't they?  Not very quick at all.  See #4.

1 comment

  1. Freezing blueberries and making strawberry jam are on my summer to do list - thanks for the tips! And so, so sweet that they asked to go to Mass.


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