We ate so many strawberries this past week from our Mother’s Day outing that my son ended up at the doctor’s office covered in an “I ate too many red berries rash.” Uh-oh.
So, we used the rest and made Strawberry Freezer Jam. Have you ever tried this? It is terribly yummy and super easy.
I wrote about creating a frugal home and one of my goals was to learn to can. This is my first attempt. (I’ve decided that going frugal is hard work. I’m much better at being thrifty. Is that too honest? I’m not giving up, just being realistic!)
And since I’m being so honest, remember this post about my urban homestead thriving? Well. My plants all have yellow leaves from too much rain. My rabbit’s furry white coat is stained with poop (too much lettuce), the compost pile stinks to high heaven, I’ve gained 3.5 pounds from all the bread I’ve been baking and I’m tired of the muddy boot prints all over the floor.
I feel better now.
Back to the Freezer Jam. Here’s the recipe (it’s included in the Sure Gel or Fruit Pectin jello package).
To make around 3 pint sized jars, you need two cups of crushed strawberries, 4 cups of sugar, a little water and a box of Sure-Gel (canning section of the grocery store). That’s it!
Freezer jam is kept in the freezer and is delicious on warm toast and biscuits.
But apparently, over consumption of freezer jam causes a rash too.
I thought we were on to something new when we decided to become more self-sufficient. It turns out I didn’t come up with the idea of an urban farm. There is a website, a book, an entire movement of Urban Homesteaders.
(I also did not come up with idea of Mom blogging. It turns out there are 10,000,000 other Mom blogs out there. One day, I will have an original idea. You heard it here first!)
I bought this used book off Amazon(The Urban Homestead)and decided immediately that we weren’t real Urban Homesteaders.
Because seriously? These people do not mess around.
Plus, I need a Chick Fil A nearby.
So, there’s that.
But I learned some cool tips for making garlic sprout, so I can plant it. I’m learning how to set up a compost pile. I learned that people pay good money for rabbit poop for their compost pile and a whole slew of other disgusting facts that you wouldn’t believe!
I also discovered that I don’t have what it takes to become a real Urban Homesteader. Because there are extremes, people. (Did you know that some die-hard Urban Homesteaders conserve the water from their roof and reuse it?)
We reuse, repurpose and recycle in small ways. But I’m learning there are many shades of green.
On the one end, you have someone like me, who proudly saves (and resuses) plastic bags from the WalMarts. And then you have the other end of the spectrum…Did you know there are people who have composting toilets? (I’ll let you use your imagination).
In other words, I need a Target within 15 minutes with a Chick Fil A nearby. Preferably.
But I am married to a country boy who dons a suit every day to support our family. Horses and farming are in his blood. The blood he passed down to my children. And it must be contagious because a few years ago, I started dreaming of life in the country, well, within reason.
I have needs.
I see a big porch, a small barn, a little land, a couple of animals, and dirty boots, lots of dirty boots….
We’ve been on the lookout for such a place on the outskirts of our town for some time now. But with the condition of our economy, we’ve put those dreams on hold and are trying to create a more frugal life. I talked about it here.
A couple of weeks ago, my hubby and I decided not to wait for that bit of country. Even though we live in the middle of suburbia on a very small slot of land, we decided to plant a small garden. It’s a similar to a square foot garden. Next time it will be a square foot garden, now that I have the book (Square Foot Gardening: A New Way to Garden.)
The place we hope food will grow:
We opted for a plastic fence around our garden in an effort to keep the squirrels (and our toddler) from destroying the small plants. I asked y’all a few weeks ago about squirrel deterrents and let me just say, “Wow.” We opted not to urinate in the garden, but the red pepper and plastic owl options really got my attention.
My 9 year old created a grid to keep track of what we planted. She put it on a clipboard and hung it in the kitchen. It’s very official.