Thursday, July 11, 2013

Canning - Homemade Strawberry Jam Made Easy!

Hello everyone!

I wanted to share with you something I learned to do this summer, something I never thought I would do at home myself and that is canning my own strawberry jam! Making homemade strawberry jam is so satisfying to me, you know exactly what's in it and it's cost efficient especially when the fruit is in season, I suggest you jam anything that's in season and cheap. You can make a big batch and store it long term or even give them out to your friends as gifts! Who wouldn't like fresh jam as a present?

Before I started I did my research, found a pressure canner/cooker on Walmart's website which I can double up as a regular water bath canner. I got it for around $75-$80 + free shipping which is relatively cheap considering the versatility of it. Strawberries were on sale during the early summer months so I bought boxes and crates full of strawberries to jam.

Many of you may know that I'm a non-recipe cook. I don't like following specific recipes and never really do, I like to taste as I go and add things and take away things that I find suites my liking. Except for baking.. well even baking, sometimes I tend to venture on my own journey to see what I can make without a recipe and some turn out delish, some may turn out like a weird alien cake.. But that's another story.

This is my version of strawberry jam. I've tried different ways of hulling, mixing and canning and came up with this very simple and easy to make "non-recipe recipe" so let's get started!

  • Wash your strawberries, pick the ugly ducklings out then hull them. I had about 6 of the 1lb boxes you can get from Walmart. There are different ways to hull a strawberry, I like to cut my strawberry tops right off since I was making a lot of jam and it saved me tonnes of time. (If you compost, don't waste those precious hulled tops!) If you wanted to can your jam, you would start your water bath boiling at this point in your canner.
  • Put them in a blender and pulse it until it gets to the consistency you like. I like a mixture in mine so I had some chunks and some pureed. You can even use a potato masher and mash them by hand in a big bowl, do it in batches so you get a good result.
  • Add them to a big pot, I used my nonstick wok because it's a multipurpose pot I use for everything and I suggest a nonstick pot because sugar likes to stick. Make sure your pot has high sides because the mixture will bubble when you stir.
  • Add about 3-4 cups of sugar (white/brown or demerara) depending on how sweet you want, lemon juice from 2 lemons, and give it a good stir to combine. I added 2 "cups" of brown sugar because that's what I had. (I know liquid measuring cups shouldn't be used to measure nothing but liquid but like I said, I like cooking my way :))

  • Bring mixture to a boil. Let it simmer for about 30-35 minutes until the jam reaches the right texture stirring occasionally to prevent it from sticking to the bottom or burning. It should thickly coat your wooden spoon without it running off. I like mine thick so I simmer mine for 35-40 minutes. The mixture will reduce a lot as it cooks more and more. If you wanted a syrupy consistency don't cook it as long and you will have made strawberry syrup, great for ice creams!
  • During the wait, prepare your canning jars by boiling jars and lids in a pot of boiling water. You can run them through a rinse cycle in your dishwasher if you prefer.

  • Once the jam reaches the right consistency, skim off the foam on top to get that silky smooth red jam. Then spoon them into the jars and cool completely. I find that cooling helps it to slightly thicken a bit more. Also, you wouldn't want to burn your tongue on hot sugary jam.

  • If you wish to store it long term then follow the instructions on your canner and continue to can your jars.

I hope this encourages you to go out of your normal routine of buying store bought jam that costs $4 and make your very own homemade, "healthier" version of strawberry jam! Please share this post if you like it or if you think it would benefit someone who wants to give it a go! God bless!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Daily Bread - Are you in your word daily?

I must confess... I don't like reading. I was never a big reader when I was growing up, instead I liked pictures and videos! It kept me more engaged in the content whenever there is illustration or a photograph to show me what I am reading about. So you guessed it, reading the bible was a challenge for me especially reading the bible daily.

I struggled and struggled with this for a long time since I came back to the Lord and I still do to this day. Whenever we read together as a family, it was hard for me to understand a lot of what is written in the bible and I always wondered why wasn't God speaking to me or revealing things so I may understand it. I prayed and I asked Him to give me the push to read, to convict me everyday, to give me the desire for His word and asked Him to help me understand what everything meant and how I could apply some of the topics we read about.

I can't count how many times I asked my husband why I'm missing it, what is the significance of reading the bible when it doesn't make any sense or it doesn't apply to my life. My husband kept reminding me of how important it is to pick up your bible daily and read it. Just read it. Pick a starting point and read, even if you don't feel like it.When you keep reading the Lord will speak to you and soon you will be able to make sense of it all, you're not going to get it right away.

So I tried. Now I'm not sure if this has happened to you but when you choose a book you want to start in and you read it, but not one word makes sense to you. It makes sense in a form of language but it didn't truly make sense in your heart, it didn't mean anything to you. This happened to me and still does!

Recently I decided to start from the beginning in the book of Genesis. I started to read a chapter or two at a time, taking it very slowly. I started a few days ago actually and I'm starting to get it! I remember reading these chapters but revisiting the chapters are reminding me of the beginning. 

I encourage all of us to keep in the word daily. I wanted to write about this topic because I know it's a hard struggle for many of us but God calls us all to follow and read His word everyday. He wants to communicate and fellowship with us through His word and reveal things to us to help us in our walk.

I wanted to conclude with a little "commercial" my husband had written to give me encouragement as well! I hope you all enjoy it and just keep at it, don't give up because it's hard or you don't feel like it. Kill your flesh and eat your daily bread!

"We know a place where feeling fatigued, depressed, sick of life, tired of the ups and downs, emptiness inside, feeling unwanted, hurt, sad, defeated, pressured, stressed out, left out and bummed out have given way to sleepless nights. You may be Scripturally Malnourished and Daily Bread can help you!

When taking Daily Bread abnormal behaviors may be fuzzy feelings, tongues, visions, and miraculous miracles. Side effects will be salvation, boldness, courage, happiness, new outlook on life, strength, wisdom, knowledge, meekness, love, gentleness, longsuffering, a new heart. Do NOT ask your primary care provider if Daily Bread is ok for you to take. JUST TAKE IT!" - The husband.

Friday, January 18, 2013

My couponing channel on Youtube!

Hi guys, I'm back! I hope everyone is having a great new year of 2013!

I'm sure most of you know that I am a couponer, I try to save money where I can and get as much free items I can during the process (Free is always exciting!). Well today I wanted to introduce you to my couponing channel on youtube at :)You can view the most recent videos on my side bar to the right ---->

I started making videos to show everyone what I do and wanted to share my couponing hauls and experiences. I believe everyone could and should coupon, you save so much money short term and long term and the bible speaks of being wise with your money for a reason!

Proverbs 24:3-4
Through wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established; and by knowledge the rooms shall be filled with all precious and pleasant riches.

Please visit my channel! Join me in finding coupons and getting great deals at stores I shop at. I will share videos on interesting coupons I find, deals I will do and my shopping hauls.

Thank you so much for your support last year reading my blog and hope you enjoy spending time with me again this year!

God bless and continue to walk in His word. :)