Friday, May 27, 2016

Strawberry Jam for a Small Family

Last week I made strawberry jam.

Big deal, right? It's the end of May. Probably a lot of people are making strawberry jam this time of year. They're probably even making it with their own, organic, homegrown, (yaddahyaddah) berries. Me? I just had one measly pack of ordinary berries from the grocery store that were just not going to get eaten in time and I did not want them to go to waste.

I ran through a few options before I settled on jam. After all, don't you have to have pounds and pounds of berries, canning equipment, hours to dedicate to the project (not to mention an addition to the house to store the 'fruits' of your labors)? But, none of the other options appealed to me, and the idea of jam starting sounding better and better. So at 9 pm, in the middle of my busiest work week of the year, I suddenly decided I was going to attempt a small batch of jam.

It took about a half hour from start to finish, and I ended up with four small jars - one for now and three for the freezer. I opted to freeze mine since I didn't have proper canning lids, and besides, as good as it turned out, I don't expect it to last that long.  It's a bit on the sweet side, so I may experiment with a little less sugar next time.

Strawberry Jam

2 cups sliced strawberries
3/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons lemon juice

Place a small plate in the freezer before you begin. Mix the strawberries, sugar and lemon juice in a deep pan. Bring to a rolling boil and allow to boil for about 10 minutes, stirring often, until it starts to thicken.

Remove the plate from the freezer and drop a spoonful of the strawberry mixture thinly onto the plate. Push the edges of mixture to see if the surface wrinkles. If not, cook another minute or two and check again, taking care not to overcook. If it does, take it off the heat, spoon into jars and seal using proper canning methods, or cool and store in the freezer.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Sourdough Pancakes

Lately I've been experimenting with sourdough. I had fun with it for a while, making all sorts of different things and busily researching new ideas to try when I had more time. I have yet to try the sourdough cracker recipe I found, but I do have a new favorite pancake recipe.

I didn't record the method for making my sourdough starter. I just followed the directions on a website I found, and after about a week, I had a lively starter. There are many available - and most are much better at posting pictures than I am. But once you have your starter, you can try this recipe.

Sourdough Pancakes

The night before:
1/2 cup starter
1/2 cup each milk and water
1 1/2 cup flour

Mix together, cover loosly and leave out overnight. I put a plate over the top of my mixing bowl and set it in the oven with the light on.

In the morning, add:
2 eggs, beaten
2 t sugar
2 T melted butter
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt

Stir well, and then cook as you would any other pancakes.