Sunday, July 25, 2010

Raspberry, Strawberry and Straspberry Freezer Jam OH MY

Freezer jam is a huge part of my past, as I talked about yesterday. Today I will share with you how I make my jam so that you can enjoy it with your family too!

First my FAVORITE package for making freezer jam is made by Ball. Below is a picture so you know exactly what you are looking for. It is found by all the canning stuff in your local grocery store. I used to only find it in my Albertson's but recently have seen it in Walmart and Safeway as well. These little packages require less than 1/2 the sugar of the cooking method ones which is one of the main reason I prefer it, more fresh fruit taste!

Ball No Cook Freezer Jam

4 Cups Fresh Fruit
1.5 Cups Sugar
1 pkg Ball No Cook Fruit Pectin

Wash and prepare fresh fruit. I washed up my fresh raspberries and strawberries and then mashed them up in separate containers. I strained the seeds from 1/2 of the raspberries as I don't like extra seedy jam. Once this was complete I made several different batches of jam. two plain raspberry, one plain strawberry and four straspberry (1/2 strawberry, 1/2 raspberry).

Combine sugar and pectin in a dry bowl and mix well. Slowly add the mixture to four cups of fresh prepared fruit mixing well. Continue to mix for 3 minutes. Pour jam into Ball canning jars and put on sealing lids. Let rest on counter for at least 30 minutes before putting in the freezer......that is if it makes it to the freezer before it is devoured! We ended up with 19.75 jars total last night, 5 raspberry, 4 strawberry, 10 strasberry and .75 of a mix off all the extra from each batch.

Straspberry Jam all mixed up!

Jam can be stored in the freezer for up to a year but ours has never ever lasted that long. We share with friends and family and often times end up making tons more throughout the year at the request of others. One of The Hubs' friend's even offered to pick me up in Seattle for my 3 Day walk in San Francisco when I mentioned that I would bring him some Strawberry Jam if he could pick me up at the airport in San Fran for the walk. I guess he misses being able to come raid our freezer when we lived in Monterey! A couple of these jars are on reserve for Brian when I see him at he airport in San Francisco in October.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Bringing My Past Into Their Future....

Growing up one of my favorite foods of all time was my Aunt Sandy's freezer jam. I can remember having it numerous times in the summer and early fall and being so sad when the last of the jam for the season was gone. I also thought that Aunt Sandy had magical powers because she could create such a yummy treat. My mom also made jam just as tasty but not nearly as often, which lead me to believe it was some huge feat to make such a yummy treat. It wasn't until I was about 21 that I learned how incredibly easy making jam can be. When Aunt Sandy showed me her recipe, she created a monster. I have been making jam ever since and when I make jam I make TONS!

I can also remember visiting Aunt Sandy and family in the summers and going to U-Pick berries at the Twedt's farm. I have such fond memories of these times with my Aunt, Uncle and cousins and loved every minute of my summer visits. Little did I know I would grow up to live in their farm hands house with my two children for over a year. The hubs and I moved in to the farm hands house just before Lynner was born and lived there until we began our journey as a traveling military family. It was just a fluke that Aunt Sandy's co-worker was moving out of the house at the same time I needed a place to live and the rent was amazingly low so we were doubly blessed. Mrs. Twedt always got on my case when I came to their roadside stand and *gasp* paid for my fruits and veggies. I had to pay when she wasn't looking as they were on the honor system and if she saw me putting cash in the coffee can she would tell me I wasn't allowed because I already paid rent. We did eat a few berries without paying as we walked up the long dirt road on hot summer days, so it was all good!

Because I have such great memories of going to the farm to pick berries in the summer I decided it was about time I took my own children out to build memories of their own. My munchkins have picked berries in Aunt Sandy's yard a few times but haven't gone out to the farm to pick as a family yet. So yesterday we loaded up the car and headed to Biringer Farm in Arlington, WA. We were on a mission to get raspberries and strawberries, unfortunately we were a little too late for strawberries, but ended up getting TONS of raspberries, and boy are they delish! I can only hope that my children carry this tradition on with their kids. Next week I hope to get out and pick some blue berries, I smell some scones in our near future!

The kids picking...

*The Fish*

*Lippy Lou*

*Ky Guy*


(he's such a boy picking rocks instead of berries!)

Our Haul, or 1/2 of it at least ;)

Tomorrow I will be posting about the wonderful jam we made last night after a trip to the ER with The Fish who as pneumonia :(. He was acting totally fine up until about 2 pm yesterday when I noticed his breathing was a little labored so after a few phone calls I ended up taking him in to get him checked out. He is home with us and doing great, breathing treatments work wonders!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Our Little Cabin in the Woods....

for 2 nights at least. This past weekend we decided that since I totally screwed up the family camping trip by imagining that it was this week instead of last we decided that we would still take the kids camping in the woods and found an opening at Jim Creek Campgrounds in Arlington, WA. It was a great little campground and we had a lot of fun. Thankfully the hubs talked me into only 2 nights because it was plenty for our family. It was just enough to have fun but not too much to get tired of being out of the norm. I loved not having a working phone or computer and just taking time to relax and enjoy my family. My mother in law is visiting us from Alaska and went along with and we just had a blast with Grandma here! So here comes the flood of pictures from our trip!

Grandma with the kiddos at Twin Lakes

The Fish, loving the great outdoors.

Our view of the lakes.

Ky Guy walking the dog.

Ky Guy helping the fish look through the viewer, he LOVED it!

The Hubs and The Fish hiking in the woods.

Ky Guy and Bentley on our family hike

Grandma, Lippy Lou, The Hubs and The Fish

Peek-a-boo Lippy Lou!!

And it was about at this point that I let Lynner talk me into hiking back to camp instead of taking the trail back to the car and riding home. It was an additional 4 miles back to camp and boy was that a LONG trek!! Hiking 4 miles is a lot harder to do than just straight walking and it takes a heck of a lot longer too. I think after all it helped me to stretch out my back, but I continued to be dizzy almost the entire hike but thankfully didn't pass out. My poor mother-in-law kept asking The Hubs if they sound start looking for us because it took so long for us to get back, but we were fine and had a great time, once it was over! Ky Guy and Bentley took the hike with us and Ky Guy kept telling Lynner that she owed us big time for making us hike 4 miles!!

PWEEEEEEEEESE! Oh ok Fish you can have you first soda all to yourself.

Lippy Lou loving some time with Grandma in the swing.

Lynner and The Fish with Grandma!

Here is Ky Guy's "ok fine mom I will smile" smile *rolls eyes*

The Fish testing out the big kids' tent.

I hope you have enjoyed today's post about our camping trip, tomorrow I will show pictures of the fishing adventure from Friday!

Breast Cancer 3 Day Training Log

So again I am posting about my training or lack there of but at least I am putting it out there. I am sad that I am having major issues with dizziness and back pain but hopefully when I see the dr this week we can get it all straightened out.

Monday - ugh why am I still dizzy...
Tuesday - dizzy much?
Wednesday - the room gets foggy and I feel as tho I am going to pass out.
Thursday - still have the dizzies and back is starting to cause problems.
Friday - 10 miles with Mel
Saturday - Back is super sore and I had to pick the girls up from camp so no training walks for me.
Sunday - Back says no walking for you today.
Monday - Back says no walking for you again today and you should go see your dr.
Tuesday - Back issues and Dizziness, Dr. says do blood work and take it easy.
Wednesday - Still having major back issues and laying low.
Thursday - Hiked 5 miles with Lynner and Ky Guy at camp.
Friday - 3 miles with the girls and MIL at our campground.
Saturday - 2 miles with the MIL
Sunday - 2 miles with the MIL

Total for the past 2 weeks = 20 miles
2010's total = 247.65

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Arlington Fly-In and Balloon Glow

Yesterday while driving home from picking the girls up at camp I heard about a "balloon glow" that would be happening that night at the Arlington airport. This is where they set up hot air balloons around dusk and light them up with the flames it requires to keep the "balloon" afloat. I remember seeing the hot air balloons as a child with my Aunt Sandy and Uncle Dave and still have very fond memories of these times so I decided that I need to take my kiddos out and make some memories of our own. I am so glad we took the time to go because it was AMAZING. The 2.5 hr wait was not so amazing but we still had a TON of fun. I kept the kids busy with carmel apples, sno-cones, lemonade and kettle corn while we walked around looking at all kinds of airplanes. We got to watch a few planes take flight and show off which was nice as well.

The kids playing around while we were waiting.

Around dusk 4 trucks/trailers came out to the field in front of us and began the set up of their hot air balloons. We were in for a real treat! Below are some of the pictures of set up.

And the best part of the night...watching the balloons GLOW!

If you ever get to go see this in person you MUST, it is simply amazing!

4th of July Family Style

This year we decided that instead of making a huge deal out of the 4th of July we would hang out as a family have a nice barbecue dinner and for the first time ever do our own fireworks. I started out by making this incredibly cute cake by 17 and Baking. I used Tidymom's "The Perfect Cupcake" recipe for my cakes and they were so moist and delish!

Start with 3 cakes, 1 each Red, White and Blue.

I can't believe I forgot pics of the second step but you level the red and white layers and cut them in half and level the blue layer leaving it whole. Stack the first two layers of red and white on your plate filling with frosting ( I used canned ). Stack the remaining layers together and cut a circle out of the middle I used a small bowl to cut around. Once these are cut remove the blue outer ring and place it on top of the red and white layer and then take the two center red and white circles and place them in the center of the blue ring. Make sure to frost between all layers. Lippy Lou insisted that we use chocolate frosting, which turned out cute but I would have preferred buttercream myself!

Here is how our beauty turned out.

After dinner and cake we set off our fireworks and the kids had a blast!

Sparklers...Lippy Lou would have NOTHING to do with them so she isn't pictured.

I LOVE this picture of Lynner

(The Fish kept trying to blow them out)

Rare picture of Ky Guy

The Hubs ;)

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Breast Cancer 3 Day Training Log

The one in which I tell you how much I suck at training lately....

To bring you all back up to speed about 3 weeks ago I started feeling dizzy and couldn't get past the feeling that I was going to pass out. It started shortly after my last post when I walked 22 miles in 2 days. Here is how the past two weeks have gone, and as of now I am still feeling quite dizzy and lightheaded and am headed to my primary dr again next week.

Monday - Went to ER, they couldn't find anything wrong.
Tuesday - Went to DR, he thinks I am dehydrated tells me to drink it up.
Wednesday - Drinking it up (over 80 oz of sports drink)
Thursday - Drinking it up
Friday - Drinking it up and walked 2 miles
Saturday - Ran a 5K and fell and got hurt, but kept on going!
Sunday - Hobbled on a hurt ankle for 4 miles
Monday - Continued to hobble on hurt ankle around the house.
Tuesday - Dehydration recheck with dr told to take it easy on ankle.
Wednesday - Taking it easy.
Thursday - Taking it easy.
Friday - Walked 10 miles with Mel while feeling dizzy.
Saturday - Too dizzy to join the group for a 14 mile walk.
Sunday - Still dizzy but walked 4 miles on my own.

This 2 weeks - 22.1
2010's total - 227.65