Monday, April 18, 2011

Manic Monday: Fresh

Fresh Strawberries
This weekend was one in which I imagined myself as a 21st century Laura Ingalls Wilder. I didn't start the weekend off feeling this way. I spent time writing on Saturday, ran some errands, and saw a movie. I love movies (which you may already know if you've read our profile). Nothing better than going to the movies and escaping into the world on the screen in front of you, bag of unbuttered popcorn in your hand (yes, unbuttered). Going to the movies is one of my favorite things, though not something Laura would have been able to do growing up in Walnut Grove.
While running errands, I stopped at the grocery store to pick up more fruits and veggies (I'm trying to eat healthier) and I couldn't resist the display of fresh strawberries. I still had some left, but I bought them anyway. Then yesterday, I made strawberry jam! "So what," you might be saying, "that's easy." Well, I was nervous! It was my first time making it and I wanted to make sure I did everything right. I also didn't think it was going to be simple. Even when I first read the easy-looking recipe, I thought it would be much harder.
As you thought, it was easy! This is when Laura Ingalls came to mind: as I stood stirring the yummy, goo-looking mix. I loved the Little House on the Prairie books and grew up on the show, so Laura was who I pictured. I imagined her stirring the sweet-smelling mixture for the first time like I was doing, excited about the prospect of tasting it soon.
While I am happy for the conveniences the 21st century offers us since many of my favorite things depend upon it, I sometimes wish we could return to a simpler time. Return to a time where fresh ingredients came from the land in which you occupied, not full of preservatives and shipped from all over the world. A time when we actually talked to one another instead of sending quick, short, incorrectly spelled words.
Of course, this is only sometimes. What would I do without my iphone?!

my fresh strawberry jam!

1 (1-lb) container fresh strawberries, hulled
2 3/4 cup sugar
1 (1 3/4-oz) package powdered low-sugar fruit pectin

1. Prepare 4 (1/2 pint) glass canning jars.
2. Place strawberries in large saucepan. Coarsely mash with potato masher or large wooden spoon. Stir in 1/4 cup sugar and pectin. Bring to a boil. Stir in remaining 2 1/2 cup sugar until blended. Return mixture to full boil. Boil, stirring constantly for 1 minute. Remove saucepan from heat; skim off foam.
3. Immediately divide jam among jars to within 1/2 inch from tops. Wipe rims clean with paper towels. Cover tightly with lids. Let stand at room temperature until set (about 24 hours). Chill jam up to 3 weeks.

Hope you get as much enjoyment from the recipe that I did!


Fresh Flowers, Fresh Floors
This past week two remarkable things happened.  One I waited a year for, the second I waited six years for….

Magnolia tree in my front yard

I’ve waited a year for my Magnolia tree to bloom in my front yard.  This past week it finally bloomed beautifully and today its petals began to fall off.  I was happy that the day it fully bloomed the sun shone.  I’ve photographed it all week; I’ve smelled its flowers and have been appreciating its beauty.  Neighbors keep commenting on its beautiful petals.  I wish the flowers lasted longer, but perhaps the fact that it blooms for such a short period of time each year just makes me appreciate it even more when it finally happens. 

new floors in my living room
We bought our house six years ago and I’ve been walking on the same worn-out carpet since the day we moved in.  I’ve saved numerous flooring ads from the Sunday paper, I’ve comparison shopped at all the large hardware stores, and I’ve had several people come out to measure my house to provide a flooring estimate.  Each year I discuss new flooring with my husband but each year passes by and the old worn-out carpet that was probably original to the house (18 years old) remained.  This year, however, my husband took the lead and all I had to do was pick the product.  We choose laminate flooring because we have an active household (kids & pets) and didn’t want to stress over scratches on a hardwood floor.  Carpet and tile was never a consideration.  The floors were installed last week in the living room, kitchen and hallway.  I love them.  The house is completely new and fresh now.
I wish you all Fresh beginning’s this week…


  1. I followed you over from Absolute Write. I love your blog :) So cute!

  2. Thanks Princess Lynn for checking out our blog, we love the feedback.

  3. I like your light fixture and the color of the walls. Very pretty!

  4. Jennifer, thank you for the compliments regarding my home. The light fixture actually came with the home and I've often thought of changing it to a ceiling fan/light fixture but obviously that hasn't happened yet. Perhaps it will remain for awhile longer. The walls had ALOT of wallpaper on them but we removed it when we bought the house and choose a light blue and have loved it. Glad you like it too!