I was supposed to be at a meditation retreat all weekend at the Mariposa Center just outside Ukiah, but a vicious cough and two sleepless nights sent me packing early Sunday morning.
Today is Memorial Day Monday, and we woke up to a gray, rainy day. I couldn’t be happier about it and I’ve tried to take full advantage of what is likely the last “indoor” day we’ll have until the fall.
For breakfast I made waffles and bacon, served with strawberries and coffee. After helping Carson get his website started, I switched gears to my favorite rainy day task: canning.
I had piles of strawberries, half from the Ukiah Farmer’s Market and half from nearby Saechao strawberries off highway 101 just south of here (on the same property as Nelson Vineyards). I didn’t take a picture of these beautiful ripe berries before or during the canning process, but you know what strawberries look like.
My dad is devoted to strawberry jam. Truly, I think he could eat strawberry jam on toast every day for the rest of his life and be content. He doesn’t like fussy food, so I made a batch of straight-up strawberry jam for Father’s Day. I also made a batch of strawberry vanilla jam at Carson’s request using a recipe from Food in Jars.
All the jars sealed (woohoo!) and both jams came out beautifully. Although the vanilla jam is delicious and Carson likes it better, I have to go with my dad on this one: simple strawberry jam can’t be beat.
A word on jams: most recipes tell you to skim the foam off the top before ladling into jars. I think this is silly since the instant you take it off the heat and give it a good stir, the foam disappears. Side note: you can help reduce foam by adding a teaspoon of butter to the pot before bringing the jam to a boil.
Now that I’ve baked (are waffles technically baking?), canned, and blogged, it’s time for another favorite gloomy day activity: afternoon movie watching in sweatpants.
p.s. Both of my grandpas fought in World War II. I thought about them today, and whether or not they would like this jam. I decided they would because, you know, what’s not to like?