Love the Sweet Stuff!

Is Hobbes, Garrett’s curious kitty, really licking her lips, as she eyes the beautiful strawberries that I just picked from our garden?

No, Hobbes, No! These berries are for jam!” I say.

Another way of sharing hospitality is by sharing from your garden. I love to make loads of strawberry jam and give it away. Because of limited freezer space, I’ll puree, measure and freeze the berries. Then in the dead of winter I’ll defrost them and make up a fresh batch of jam. YUM.

It’s delicious on peanut butter and jellies, waffles and even ice cream!

On Memorial Day the kids and I made jam. Tonight we will make more. I make a few different kinds of jams and I love trading them with my friends. Pam will give me her raspberry jam (to die for!) and I’ll give her something off of my shelf.

It’s fun to trade and share the love from our gardens.

We also use frozen strawberries in protein shakes. They’re a healthy breakfast for the kids and include flax oil!

Coughlin Strawberry Shake
1 scoop Whey protein powder
1 cup water
Sweetener (optional)
1 cup frozen berries (or if you use fresh, add ice cubes)
1 T flax oil
Few drops of vanilla extract

Blend, and ENJOY any time of the day!

TIP for JAM-making: I use the freezer jam recipe off of any pectin box.


Diane @ Candid Reflections said...

Gosh these strawberries look WONDERFUL!! Thanks for sharing the smoothie recipe. I have copied it off and plan to try it soon!! Blessings, Diane

momrn2 said...

We also make freezer jam. Strawberry freezer jam is the children's favorite. I'm attempting to grow my own strawberries this year. We'll see how it goes.

The raspberries I inherited when we bought this place. I did my first raspberry freezer jam last year... YUMMY!!!!

I gave some raspberry jam as a gift a few weeks ago. A friend wanted raspberry bushes and couldn't find any. I had her come to my place and we dug up some of the ones beginning to spread for her to use as starters. Since I knew she wouldn't have berries this year, I sent a container of jam home with her. It was fun to be able to do that!!!

I now put all my jam into those disposable glad type containers. I can go straight to freezer with them from making it. I can wash and re-use them if we use them, and they are a "quick grab" without fear of the dish not returning if I give it away. Nothing fancy but it works great for me!!

Sorry, again another novel in your comments! *sheepish grin*

You always have such great ideas!!! Thanks for sharing them!

Barb said...

I'm having a shake right now! I actually like using frozen berries cuz it thickens it somewhat. (Tho I definitely prefer the aroma of fresh berries!) And if I want it thick enuf to eat with a spoon, I just add a few extra! :o) I've read that you can substitute powdered milk for the whey powder, but I don't know if it has the same benefit.

GiBee said...

Man, oh man I keep meaning to go strawberry picking!!! I've GOT to make the time!!! They look yummy!

Katybug said...

Thanks for the shake recipe, Sandy. My daughter is allergic to milk, so I love finding anything ice cream-like that doesn't contain milk. She'll love this one.

When I was in elementary school, my mother would make jelly out of wine. My teachers always got a jar at Christmas. Understandably, they loved my mom! ;-)

Lovella said...

I do the very same thing when our strawberries are ready. No sense in making up all the jam at one time, I just make it fresh throughout the winter months.

Your berries looked just so fresh,and ripe. No half green ones in the bunch.
The smoothie looked so yummy too.

Barb said...

OH! Golly shucks Miz Sandy, you forgot to tell everyone that you and Mr Paul are gonna be on Focus on the Family on Thursday and Friday!! If y'all want to hear the melodious sounds of the Happy Coughlin voices, go to www.family.org and find the radio station near you that airs Focus on the Family with Dr Dobson!

Rachelle said...

Sandy, I may have to go cold turkey from your blog... I am totally intimidated by all you do! I KNOW how to make jam and grow a garden and set a table and throw a party (and even can sew some great looking curtains and crochet a mean scarf) but this doesn't seem to be the season of life for me to do any of that stuff.

Those strawberries look divine! Alas, even if I decided to devote my entire waking hours to gardening, I'd never get strawberries like that. Here at 7,000 feet in the rocky soil of the Rocky mountains, it's hopeless.

Barb said...

We don't have any mountains nearby--we're in a valley, actually--but I've been trying for a few years with strawberries and am finally getting a good-looking little crop this year. It's really encouraging to me to see regular people grow them with success! I hope you don't bail completely Rachelle. I will never be a Sandy C (or any of the others ladies I admire), but I'm not supposed to be. What I can be is a Sandy-inspired Barb, and definitely the better for it!

Jami said...

LOVE IT!!! :)

SeaBird said...

How funny - just a few minutes ago I just made a shake for my boys - and included the flax seeed oil! We use bananas for them right now, but I love putting strawberries in shakes for me. And I discovered this stuff called The Ultimate Meal - it's kind of like protein poweder but has lots of other good stuff in it. VERY strong tasting, though!

Peach said...

We had smoothies again this morning. I need to freeze some fruit for these, though. Today's were a little runny and the ice doesn't crush like I want it to.

The kitty photo is darling, Sandy.

I'll be making more jam today. I love the idea of giving some of it away. Your ideas are so helpful!

Becca said...

Sandy, I am so far behind in reading your posts. I see I missed another wonderful drawing. The Henri Nouwen quote was so excellent that I passed it along. Thanks for sharing it on your blog. As well, I think we'll be having a strawberry drink in the near future.

You grew all those strawberries? Sandy, they are beautiful!

Tammy said...

Those strawberries look scrumptious!

I have never attempted making real jam yet...but this tempts me! :)

Oh, and I just got caught up and read your post below...How wonderful that the neighborhood salad social turned out so beautifully! This is so inspiring!
The table looks so simple but elegant- and so glad your daughter was there, too! :D

Jenster said...

I'm glad I didn't short out my keyboard as I drooled all over it!! I love anything strawberry.

Happy anniversary a couple days early!!

Jenster said...

OH! I just read Barb's comment about Focus on the Family. I love that show and I'll have to listen in. :o)

MinnieLinda said...

Confession: I have copied all the recipes out of your blog, Sandy, and tried the creamy potato gratins at my Memorial Day weekend barbeque, where they were a big hit, even if the weather was much hotter than it was forecast to be. I recommend your blog to everyone I know! Except that now I have two people giving me impossible standards to aspire to - you and my grandmother! If I could just get rid of the piles of papers... being a writer AND a book junkie has its drawbacks... but that's the only one I can think of! So I am guessing you would say that part of hospitality is being who you are, and my friends and family will be comfortable with the stacks of books and papers as long as I am, right? I just will never have a Good Housekeeping house, and that's okay! Thanks, Sandy!