Make it yourself, mama!
It has been a big week around here for making food, both to eat now and to put away for winter. Here’s a rundown on what we did and it’s relative rate of success (time, cost, taste):
1. No-sugar blueberry freezer jam (about 6 pints)– a success. We did it the same way we made strawberry jam earlier this summer. This came out really well– slightly tart but tasting just like summer. It was also really quick to make (blueberries smash easily). It took about 2 quarts, which was just under $8 worth of berries.
2. Blueberry fruit leather– this one needs some work. We used a combination of this method and this one. The problem was that our oven doesn’t go any lower than 170. In retrospect, I think I should have used a system of turning on and off the oven so that it spent more time in the oven, at a lower temperature. The flavor was good but the texture was off. It took a little time to make but it wasn’t that bad– I think when I figure out the oven method this will be a fun thing to do with other fruits. I used just under a quart of berries for this, so around $4.
3. Blueberry vodka– is still infusing (is that the right verb?). It is a beautiful purple color, though. It wasn’t terribly expensive to make, although I will confess that I did not buy the nicest vodka ever. I used just about a quart of berries.
4. No-sugar cherry freezer jam (about 6 pints)– oh yum. We made it as above. It took a very long time to pit all the cherries but it was worth it. I lost the receipt but I would estimate the cost was similar to the blueberry jam, perhaps just a bit higher. Sam refused his nap so he watched from my back.
5. Bread. I used a sandwich bread recipe from King Arthur flour. It was good but a little crumbier than I had hoped for. I will be making a different recipe this weekend to compare.
6. Blueberry muffins– I used my standard recipe which involves plain yogurt. Tasty, but muffins don’t keep well in the summer as I always forget, and my recipe makes 24. So we ate them quickly.
We froze berries for winter baking and have been eating lots of them plain. I may make a buttermilk blueberry cake later today if I can find time. We are picking raspberries later– I have no idea how many we will get so I am not making any plans for them other than eating.
It took each kid a long time to pick out the toys for goodwill today– I wonder if this will get easier throughout the week?
On an unrelated note, my little Sam turned 9 months this week. He is such a delightful little guy. He is so very persistent, so happy… his skin is still so soft and his little legs so squishy. At 9 months, he remains very good company: he hangs out on my back and babbles away while I cook or do other things. He loves to watch the big kids. Sam can crawl (on his belly, like a miniature marine); he is starting to pull up. Nothing is as exciting as our cat Rosie, who is not used to his new mobility. Sam sets his eye on what he wants and goes for it. He remains toothless. He likes to make a really big mess with blueberries and even to eat a few. Happy month-a-versary to our (not so) little guy!