Homemade Organic Raspberry Jam

I have seen lots of easy-peasy jam recipes recently and was inspired to try one out. There was a sale on organic Raspberry's at my Harris Teeter so that was the berry of choice! Hopefully these steps make sense.

You will need:

6 cups of fresh raspberries {about 5 of the 6oz cartons}

mixing bowl
one box of fruit pectin {huh? that's what I said....I used Sure Jell which I found with canning supplies}
one pot
3/4 cups water
5 1/4 cups sugar
8 half-pint mason jars {even though the recipe called for that I only filled up 7 jars}

Before you start anything else, rinse all your mason jars and lids in boiling water.

Dry jars thoroughly.

While waiting for jars to dry I rinsed my raspberries then used a biscuit cutter to begin smashing them. It was a great way to get out frustrations, I highly recommend it as the medicine for a hard day!

You'll get a soupy mixture like that last picture above. Now it's time to strain out the seeds and chunks you don't want. I didn't want a chunky jam so I strained...a LOT!

THEN add all that sugar!

I gave that a good stir then put the water in the pot and turned up the heat. Pour in the Sure Jell and let it come to a boil for one minute, but stir constantly.

Then pour the pectin straight into the raspberry mash and stir for 3 minutes.

 Now, grab those mason jars and begin filling them. You'll really be able to feel the mixture turning into jam when you start scooping! I just used a 1/3 measuring cup to scoop mine. Just stop about 1/2 inch below the top of the jar.

Almost done....don't they look pretty?! Wipe the tops of all the jars to make sure nothing spilled before you seal them with their lids.

Viola! Homemade organic raspberry jam all year-round! This stuff keeps in the fridge for 3 weeks and will freeze for a year-just thaw in the refrigerator before using. I've already gone through half a jar in my house, the rest are frozen and I think I'll be giving some away. 

Also, since I have 5 unused mason jars and I saw that blackberries are on sale this week at Harris Teeter I might be making some of that soon too! I'll post if I do.

Summer is winding down and that means berry season will too. Before it does get some of those end of season sales and make some of this jam for your family! Mister has already told me that I screwed myself with this one-I am never allowed to buy jam again, I must make it. Haha, I think he was just trying to be sweet. Good luck and let me know if you try this!


Who Knew?

 Where oh where has my summer gone to? That's what I find myself saying/thinking multiple times a day lately. Whoa, but I do have two weeks until I have to go back to work.....but one week is taken up by VBS at church. So one week....which we will be spending on vacation at the beach, woohoo!!

Did y'all know a great way to find vacations at a great price is to go on Craigslist? Now, you do have to be careful of scammers as always, however, if you're smart about it then you can find an amazing deal. My super awesome husband was bound and determined to find us a place at the beach so he looked everywhere and found us a great house for an even better price on Emerald Isle for 6 days and 5 nights!! Can we say, saawweeeet!

A lot of people posting are homeowners who need to fill a week quickly if someone backed out at the last minute so they are willing to drop their prices. I would have never thought to look at Craigslist but there ya go. Now we are dreaming of being there in a week from today.....ahhhh.

So now I'm thinking of the things I need to get/do before we hit the beach:
more beach towels-two for two people and one dog just will not do.
beach chairs
bug spray
more sunscreen
make a menu for our week at the beach
do lots of laundry

Sorry, this was a short post with no pictures, just wanted to say What's up! to all y'all Southern ladies out there. So, have you gone on vacation yet this summer or are you anticipating it like me?


August Goals

I love looking through our vacation pictures from years past. This is when Daniel and I went with my family on vacation to Topsail Island last summer. Growing up we always rented an oceanfront house there every summer for one week. I love it more than any other place for vacation. This summer we are so busy that we are missing family vacation....super sad day! We're hoping to find a few days before I have to go back to work but I don't know if it will happen this year? But there is a lot for me to get done this month so here are my monthly goals!

{August 2011 Goals}
Paint guest bedroom nightstand white.
Plan VBS lessons to teach.
Teach VBS...pray for me, I do NOT want to do this!
Paint scripture painting for our house.
Paint picture for Daniel
Start planning exciting things for the girls of our youth group!!!
Go back to work...waahhhhh!
Come up with a solution for living room end table.
Buy a third Moroccan mirror for the living room-two just looks off.
Finish reading both summer books and start a third.
After a summer of eating fast food and camp food with the youth it is time to diet and detox!
Finish making my flower pillow.
Make it to the beach at least for a day!!
Spend a lot of time by the pool.

So, do any of you have goals you want to accomplish before the month is over? It's the last full month of summer, soak it up people!