Just a quick share of my husband’s pickled eggs and beets. He grew up with this Pennsylvania Dutch traditional snack. It is usually made with red beets, but since we had both golden beets and red in the garden, the last round he made a jar of both. I love how the colors turned out. We will share his recipe for pickled beets and eggs soon!
I shared yesterday about our family trip to pick organic strawberries at Suzie’s Farm during their “Strawberry Jam.” Well, what better way to use up the strawberries we couldn’t eat fresh than making homemade strawberry jam?
After we made it home, I sorted through our freshly picked strawberries. Most of them were still perfect and gorgeous, but I managed to set aside some that had the smallest of bruising for jam. Here is my trick for keeping strawberries fresh and pretty: I line a pyrex dish with a paper towel (or cloth kitchen towel) and spread them out in a single layer. I don’t wash them until just before eating. These strawberries we picked were so fresh, it didn’t matter, but this can extend the life of store bought berries.
The rest of the berries went into jam! I didn’t have any pectin, and I was curious if all that sugar in most recipes served a vital purpose, so I picked the brain of my neighbor, our local grandma stand-in. I figured she would have pectin I could borrow, but she encouraged me to try without it. Then I found a recipe on Northwest Edible Life (the blog known for the hilarious “Terrible Tragedy of the Healthy Eater.”) Erica makes the case for ditching pectin and uses much less sugar.
Click here for detailed instructions on how to make preserves without pectin.
Here is what I ended up using in our strawberry jam:
- 2 pounds chopped strawberries
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/4 teaspoon lemon zest
I ended up with a little over 3 cups of jam. I did not “can” them or seal them as I figured we would eat it quickly. (One week later, only about 1 cup is left.) And to be perfectly honest, I am still a little scared of my steam canner!
Any tips for getting started canning?
Posted in Food, Healthy Recipes, Preserving and Canning, Recipes for the Whole Family, Recipes from the Garden, Recipes to Make with the Kids, Seasonal Recipes, Urban Homesteading
Tagged easy farm to table, easy seasonal cooking, easy seasonal recipes, gluten free, jams, jellies and preserves, Urban Homesteading
Last weekend we celebrated Papa Bird’s birthday with a fun family day at Suzie’s Farm. They held their annual “Strawberry Jam” last Saturday and we all had so much fun, picking strawberries and eating yummy food. Little Bird loved apple picking as a tot and felt right at home with the plants and chickens.
We started off picking organic strawberries. Every plant was filled with the most perfectly beautiful, sweet and flavorful berries. (At home, Little Bird tends to pick all of our strawberries while they are still green and small.) I did get some temporary hives from stinging nettles, but they went away.
Next I sampled strawberry chutney, drank a strawberry and basil kombucha, and made green strawberry pickles with Austin from the San Diego Fermenter’s Club. Little Bird loves them. They are mild, slightly crunchy and have a hint of strawberry flavor. You can find the recipe for Green Strawberry Pickles here.
green strawberry pickles
After all that hard work, I was ready for a grass fed burger made with strawberry jam, and a beet and quinoa salad from Green Truck. The cold and windy weather discouraged our plans for eating ice cream from our friends’ Calexico Creamery, but we took home a pint of (what else?) Fresa and a pint of Mexican Cocoa. Little Bird and I hid out from the wind in a teepee and she gathered twigs and sticks to build a play fire.
Check back tomorrow and I will share the best recipe for strawberry jam! It has hardly any sugar in it and no pectin. The only other ingredient is a lemon…
–> Update: Strawberry Jam now posted HERE.
Posted in Family Adventures, Food, Green Parenting, Healthy Recipes, How To, Our Family, Parenting, Preserving and Canning, Recipes for the Whole Family, Recipes from the Garden, Recipes to Make with the Kids, Seasonal Recipes, Urban Homesteading
Tagged easy farm to table, easy seasonal cooking, easy seasonal recipes, farm to table, vegan, vegetarian
It has been a little while since I posted. We have been busy! More on that below. Seeing all of our pretty green and brown eggs lined up into rows made me happy. (Our hens had stopped laying for a little while during the winter.)
Happily, I feel like a lot of other things are getting lined up over here at the Baby Birds Farm. I went back to work, Papa Bird started a new business, and I started a small private practice, focusing on maternal mental health.
In other news, my last post, on using the Bar Method to Prepare for Birth, had its fifteen minutes of fame. My local studio, Bar Method San Diego, shared the post on their Facebook page. That was nice, but not totally unexpected. Then, within 24 hours, other studios around the country and the National Bar Method page (with 20,000 followers) also shared the post. Here’s to all the happy Bar Method mamas! Hope they are encouraged, if I could have an easy, unmedicated birth, they can, too!
ps. If you aren’t following Baby Birds on Facebook, click here and do so now! If you already “like” the page, but don’t see a lot of my posts in your feed, you may have to like and comment on a few posts to let Facebook know that you want to see more of the posts. (FB is weird like that.)
Just a quick shot of today’s harvest. Tender rainbow chard, mustard greens, lacinto kale and red Russian kale. Papa Bird quickly sautéed them in coconut oil. Greens that fresh don’t need a lot done to them.
Not that long ago, he and his friend, Mark, built a new raised bed by the house. They used a new (to us) technique called hugelkultur, a permaculture practice of layering wood and soil “like a lasagna”.
Here’s a link to another blog with some more on hugelkultur: click here. I like that their chickens look a lot like Bebe and Butters, and that they have a toddler helping, just like Little Bird helped Papa and Mark. Plus she dug up the yard while babywearing! (And I thought I was crunchy for babywearing while composting diapers!)