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Posts Tagged ‘Strawberry Jam’

It’s a small consolation for not going to a blues party in Portland tonight. I’ll admit that driving 10 hours for a short party (there and back) is not my favourite idea of fun — especially with not sharing the driving.  But I was prepared to go, but my gut said ‘BAD IDEA’ this morning. Fortunately my passenger felt the same way so we called it. Instead today, after my last long run before the Scotiabank Vancouver Half Marathon I came home and relaxed a bit and convinced myself that a $0.50/Ib savings is worth it to drive to Langley for Strawberries rather than staying closer and going to Richmond.

So I did went and got a flat of strawberries, grabbing another bundle of Rhubarb while it’s in season too. Maybe I’ll make more Strawberry Rhubarb muffins like these from last week:

Strawberry Rhubarb Muffin

There are a few places to get berries around the lower mainland. I’ve done some pricing. It’s always cheaper to do U Pick but that’s pretty time consuming and more fun to do with friends. So I just bought a total of two flats. Besides my time is worth more than the $0.50/Ib savings it is to do U Pick. So I’ll have just under 30 Ibs of strawberries frozen which will hopefully be a wonderful treat in the dead of winter while I’m busy and stressed (I’m not going to make Strawberry Jam this year — I still have lots from last year — not to mention blueberry and blackberry. I think this summer I’ll plan to make two batches of raspberry jam. I think that will get me through, at least until next summer)!  Plus, buying these local berries is much cheaper than the individually quick frozen berries sold at Costco (my fallback if I run out before this time next year), so I think in the interest of planning for what’s next, this is a fantastic way to save money. I’m trying to stock up right now so that I have a deep freezer full of basics I can use. Frozen local fruit (in season), chicken, veggies, and lots of soups and freezer meals. I want to be ready for the busy-ness of the fall, the inability to find time or the energy to cook — and I want to be ready to keep myself from eating out too much.

My strawberry adventure took me to langley — last week’s flat was from Krause Farms, this weeks from Driediger Farms. It would have been delightful to share that with friends and make a fun adventure out of it, but alas, this time it was just me. Quick in and out, but this farm had a lovely picnic area, a place to get fresh fruit smoothies, the chance to get tours of the farm and it was very pretty!! I’ll be going back for blueberries and for raspberries later this summer (blackberries I’ll pick at the cabin as always), and hopefully the upcoming Blueberry and/or Raspberry Adventures will be shared.

Speaking of eating out. Yesterday I ended up eating out twice, and need to nip that in the bud. It can’t keep happening — I need to limit that to special occasions, there have to be other inexpensive ways to hang out with people that don’t involve restaurants!  So I’m spending a lot of time thinking and planning and am trying to find tips and techniques that will help me to save funds. What are your tips and techniqes to save money and reduce your budget? What do you do with your friends that are cheap or free so that you’re not constantly spending money to be social?

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I am sitting near my kitchen, it’s late and the water’s boiling. I’ve just finished making blueberry jam. As I can my jars (I follow the information that’s found here, oh except I process them for 10 minute), I’m catching up on some blog posts. I might even post Canada Day. That may be stretching it though.

Tonight was belly dance, more cans, a pause by the lindy hop dance studio then errands and home to making jam.

I’ve started taking a belly dancing class because I find that I really want to work on my movement and body isolations. I also think it will help with self and body confidence. My friend Jools and I are doing it (I’m still searching for nicknames for everyone… Jools for one friend and Jules for another works… I hope..) and tonight was week 2.  I’ve found that I can get the motion with the hips going, the upper torso body isolations are a challenge and combining things… well that’s like patting your head, rubbing your stomach and walking while chewing gum combined. Awkward. But I think I’m learning a lot.

Afterwards I came home and am making jam. again. One of my activities these past few weeks has been to make jam. Likely for gifts, so hopefully by the time I give them away, those people who are reading this will have forgotten… 😛 I realized that I love local berries and enjoy jam and I’ve really started to prefer natural, local foods and I prefer to know what’s in my food. So I’m making jam. I made two batches of Strawberry Jam the other week (17.5+ cups of jam later… plus frozen berries), and I will make 2 batches of Blueberry Jam. Plus more of who knows what…

It’s satisfying me the way that baking satisfies, and it has the bonus of not being something I’m tempted to eat right away (other than to mop up the drippings because it is very very yummy), plus it might end up being a homemade gift, so it’s all good…

I think I also like it because there’s a science to making jam, and it gives me time to think and process and after this past week, I definitely need that.

So I’m having fun. Tomorrow I’ll make batch #2, and maybe I’ll even take photos, and then I have to sort out how to can tomatoes because in a few weeks I’ll have 1000’s of them. My tomato plants are huge…

Enough random chatter. My canning’s done.

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So I haven’t posted in at least a week. I’m not sure who’s consistently reading my blog but I’m still around. I have may stories of this past week and many thoughts and I got hung up on finishing the story of my Canada Day.  I still have that post in draft form, but not finishing it (too tired from the events) meant I haven’t continued blogging about the rest of what’s been going on.

Like, friends starting to learn to dance (that’s their stories not mine, but it made me happy), the day hiking trip that became ‘operation drowned rat’, dancing, work, making two batches of strawberry jam — the current count is 17 cups.

But I can’t let that be a hangup, because I don’t want to stop blogging just because I’m too busy or too tired to finish a post from a week ago. Suffice it to say, by not blogging, I’m out having fun. I’ve found my fun again. I’m starting to see dreams again that I’ve not been able to see for a while. I suppose that’s good, but these dreams feel unattainable right now.  I hope I’m wrong, and I am working on doing what I need to do to allow those dreams to become a reality.

So this week has been dancing, slacking off on running a little bit, hiking, friends and just enjoying my time. Had dinner with my grandma yesterday. I’ve been hiding and dealing with some stuff, so I haven’t seen her lately, though it was really really nice to catch up. I’ve missed her.

Tonight I went to Monk McQueen’s for drinks with my coworkers — two of my coworkers were having birthdays. Purely social, not a work event, which is nice. It’s making me more comfortable, though specifics about thoughts and plans are kept close.

Afterwards I came home and made jam: The recipe is in the Certo Light Package. Quite yummy if I may say so myself. My friend ‘J’ came over (a tangent: I just realized how confusing it is going to be to use initials for friends nicknames. I’ll have to come up with a better plan, but for now, J it is..EDIT: This J is now Jools in the future…), anyhow, J came over and she helped me finish up the jam — it’s much easier to have help to fill the jars, than not.  Then we cooked dinner on my BBQ and had dinner while I processed the jars of jam. Later on I went dancing at The Yale. No yale stories — I wish I’d had a blog last summer and fall. Every week there was a different yale story (all relating to how random bar patrons would hit on me). It became legend. Some were quite funny too. Anyhow, we arrived late and there were only 4 of us, 5 for much of the time. So I had to lead. But it let me get some stuff out of my system, distracted me from thinking about things that could have just stressed me out, and I had some fun dances.

And that brings me to now. I still would like to finish my Canada Day post but not tonight. For now I’m going to sleep, hopefully be ready to enjoy belly dance class tomorrow night, and get a run in (perhaps I should run to belly dance… that may work…). How I wish my bike were fixed!

Time for sleep.

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