Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Strawberry Pickin' & Jam Makin'

Since I moved to Florida 4 years ago I have found lots of new hobbies and fun things to do....but this by far has become one of my favorite traditions to do each year with my kids and best friends.

We live near the Plant City, Florida area, which is also known as the Strawberry Capital of the world!  It's convenient, close to home pickin' and CHEAP!  Where can you get PERFECTLY beautiful organic grown strawberries fresh off the vine for under 90 cents a pound?!

I'm heading out Friday morning for our annual picking and I'm so excited to try Freezer Jam this year.  Every year I do the traditional jam making that is yummy, but incredibly messy and not that easy with 5 kids running around.  So this year I'm tackling the Freezer Jam.  If you haven't heard of it or you are slightly nervous about making jam, you're going to love this alternative.  It is so delicious.  You get fresh tasting sweet strawberry jam with out the cooked berry taste or the mess...or the hot boiling water...

Strawberry Freezer Jam

  • 2 cups crushed FRESH strawberries
  • 4 cups  sugar, measured into separate bowl
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 box  SURE.JELL Fruit Pectin 
  • 5 (1-cup) plastic containers and lids (Clean with boiling water. Dry thoroughly)                       
  1. Crush strawberries thoroughly, 1 cup at a time. Measure exactly 2 cups into a  bowl. Stir in sugar. Let stand 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Add water and pectin in small saucepan. Bring to boil on high heat, stirring constantly. Continue boiling and stirring 1 minute. Add to strawberry mixture; stir 3 minutes or until sugar is dissolved and no longer grainy.
  3. Fill the containers immediately to within 1/2 inch of tops. Wipe off top edges of containers; immediately cover with lids. Let stand at room temperature 24 hours. Jam is now ready to use. Store in refrigerator up to 3 weeks or freeze extra containers up to 1 year.

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Monday, January 4, 2010

My WORD for 2010

At the end of 2008 I had stumbled on this great idea of having a WORD to define you and move you through the upcoming year.   The first time I saw it was at Ali Edwards's Blog.  Once again, I've been in deep thought about "MY" word.  Last year my word was PEACE.  Looking back, I'm so pleased and proud of myself  becuase I truely found the PEACE I was looking for.  It's funny though, it came in so many different ways, none of which I expected.

This is a little bit of what Ali's blog says:

The idea behind the one little word concept is to give yourself something to focus on throughout the year. "A single word can be a powerful thing. It can be the ripple in the pond that changes everything. It can sharp and biting or rich and soft and slow."
Also from that same newsletter:
Can you identify a single word that sums up what you want for yourself in 2009?

It can be something tangible or intangible. It could be a thought or a feeling or an emotion. It can be singular or plural. The key is to find something that has personal meaning for you. This is not your mother's word or your spouse's word or your child's word - this is YOUR word.

One little word can have big meaning in your life if you allow yourself to be open to the possibilities. And here's one thing that is totally interesting: sometimes a word will pop into your brain and it will not make any sense to you right now. Give it some time. Let it percolate a bit. I have often found that our hearts speak to us in very unique ways. Maybe this is a word you need to hear but just aren't ready for it yet. Again, be open to the possibilities.

Once again, I found myself pulling between 2 different WORDS....

But after much thought my word for 2010 is Hope.

There are many things I Hope for.  They're important and wonderful things.  I know that by having Faith (which was the other word I was pulled between) and Hope that those things I want most in life will happen.  Hope is a belief and feeling that what is wanted can be had and will turn out for the best.  

We also did this as a family last night and I was so impressed with the words my family picked.  My husband is foucsed on "POSITIVE".  My 16-yr-old's word is "DISCIPLINE".  My 14-yr-old picked "INNER-STRENGH".  My sweet 7 year-old son picked "RESPECT".  And of course my little twins picked "SPARKLE" and "HAPPY".  

Need some help with words?? Check out Ali's List here.
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