Saturday, July 27, 2013

This morning we went to the Anacortes Farmer's Market.  I was thinking that I'd missed out on strawberry season, but there was a farmer there who had a half flat of the "everbearing" variety, that grow throughout the season.  She said they weren't as sweet as the ones available in June, but they looked pretty good to me, so I brought them home.
I'd had the idea for a while to make strawberry-basil jam. They're the flavors I most associate with summer.  But last month was crazy busy with Ben and I buying and working on the boat, and me getting extra hours at work, so there was no time for canning.  I still can't believe I lucked into local berries this late!

The process of making jam is surprisingly simple.  You take fruit and you do stuff to it.

Adding fresh Basil.

Then you pour it in jars and you do stuff to the jars.  And if you did it right they all seal.

I can't believe 3.5 pounds of strawberries fit into just 4 half pint jars!  But I didn't use any pectin and the flavor is very concentrated.  It is definitely the best jam I've ever made.  The basil is a nice touch.  My favorite thing to do when cooking is take traditionally savory flavors and make them sweet and vice versa.  
Ben's mom Linda, taught me how to can last fall, and it's become something I really enjoy.  Useful too, considering I can't imagine ever having that big a freezer on the boat.  Come this winter, when we're living aboard finally, when it's raining for the thirtieth day in a row, I'm going to have one of these summery jars for that occasion.  
Thank you Linda, for letting me use your kitchen.  I wonder what canning on a diesel stove will be like.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Pretty isn't she?  This is going to be our new home.

Living aboard an old wooden boat has been a dream of mine and Ben's for several years.  Now that we've finally found our girl, the relief is palpable.  Our hope is to move aboard before Ben's birthday in October.