We did it. Twenty-two jars of low sugar, honey-sweetened, local, organic strawberry jam! (Insert me dancing around my very messy kitchen here.) Sure, yesterday's dinner dishes are still all of the counters, but there is jam in the pantry!
When I say "we did it" I cheer the kids on for their limited – yet focused – moments of strawberry stemming yesterday. However brief, they did both help. Sage got distracted by the concept of homemade strawberry Jello (something he hand never tasted nor made) so his work was on a project of his own. He did it – from stemming to juicing to cooking to washing up. Impressive that one. As for me, I sat at the table with a grapefruit spoon in one hand and a steady progression of strawberries in the other for hours. Intermissions of making tea, the three of us running outside through the hose and several quick distratcions in the craft room broke up the work and kept the day free and flowing and fun for us all.
That being said, please don't come over and peek into my fridge today. You will find that there are three quarts of berries still sitting there, staring at me, wondering why they are neither in can nor freezer. I had to sleep at some point, so I gave up. I think smoothies are on the menu this morning. Again. Dinner last night was a simple grain-free bread we enjoy with homemade sunflower seed butter, homemade jam, and smooties made from our abundant strawberries. Sage marveled at how "everything but the bananans" were homemade or homegrown or from farms of friends. The yogurt, the seed butter, the jam, the berries, the bread. I like days like that.
A few people have emailed asking how the Tattler lids worked. Here was my experience: I had only enough tattlers for 1/2 of my jam. I politely decided not to steal the box I have set aside for the giveaway this weekend (there was a weak moment of staring at that box thought, I must tell you). So I used the Tattlers that I had plus some conventional BPA containing lids. (How strange that felt.)
Every time I can I have a few failures. A few jars that do not seal, even when using "ordinary" lids. The way I do things this is an ordinary experience, a jar or two finding its way into the fridge or freezer instead of the pantry. This batch was no exception. Worth noting, however, is that all three failures I had were Tattlers. I am suspecting human error since the rubber band is very narrow and if I was sloppy in my technique it might have shifted when I put the tops on. But I wanted you to know that yes, there were some failures, but yes, I'm still investing in more Tattler lids for the rest of my canning season. It just felt too weird canning organic berries with metal lids. "Worth the trouble" is my official word on the Tattler lids.
Today we're off to the lake to swim and play with friends. The dishes can wait. Again.
~ * ~ * ~ * ~
Welcome July sponsors:
Didymos – exceptional baby carriers
Life Without Plastic – glass and stainless products for your home
Rebourne – recycled and green handmade gear for mother and baby
Continuum Family – natural parenting essentials
Aurora Shoes – handmade leather shoes
WaldorfMama – Knitting and Waldorf inspiration from a mama of my own heart
Sparkle Stories – Audio stories for children and families
Dental Essentials – supplements for a cavity free childhood
Finns and Flowers – Handmade toys from Maine
If you are interested in sponsorship of Clean, do drop me an email and I'll send you the details.
Have a wonderful weekend, friends,