Summer in a Jar – Strawberry Freezer Jam

Summer in a Jar - Strawberry Freezer Jam

Let those December winds bellow ‘n blow, I’m as warm as a July tomato.

Peaches on the shelf

Potatoes in the bin

Supper’s ready, everybody come on in

Taste a little of the summer,

Taste a little of the summer,

You can taste a little of the summer my grandma’s put it all in jars.

 

Well, there’s a root cellar, fruit cellar down below

Watch you head now, and down you go

Maybe you’re weary an’ you don’t give a damn

I bet you never tasted her blackberry jam.

Ah, she’s got magic in her – you know what I mean

She puts the sun and rain in with her green beans.

What with the snow and the economy and ev’ry’thing,

I think I’ll jus’ stay down here and eat until spring.

 

When I go to see my grandma I gain a lot of weight

With her dear hands she gives me plate after plate.

She cans the pickles, sweet & dill

She cans the songs of the whippoorwill

And the morning dew and the evening moon ‘n

I really got to go see her pretty soon

‘Cause these canned goods I buy at the store

Ain’t got the summer in them anymore.

 

Peaches on the shelf, potatoes in the bin

Supper’s ready, everybody come on in, now

Taste a little of the summer,

Taste a little of the summer,

Taste a little of the summer,

My grandma put it all in jars.

Let those December winds bellow and blow,

I’m as warm as a July tomato.

– Canned Goods, by Greg Brown

That’s right, with the summer months upon us it’s time to start canning up the magic. Now is the perfect time to be putting fresh strawberries in jars and freezing them for long cold winter nights to be slathered on fresh baked sourdough bread and eaten by the fireside with cups of warm tea. When I put in the call to my mom to see if I could use her famous and legendary Strawberry Jam recipe on the blog, she laughed as she said “Marcella Rose of course you can! It’s not mine! It’s from the box of liquid pectin!” But she, with all of her motherly wisdom, still bestowed on me the way to make it always turn out perfectly. Here are the tips: only use the ripest strawberries, only use fresh lemon, don’t mess with the sugar it’s a lot yes but you eat it sparingly like honey so don’t fret, oh and listen to Greg Brown while making it.

This jam is seriously the best; it captures the perfect taste of ripe strawberries because you don’t cook it into jelly. Now because of that, it needs to be stored not on a shelf but in the freezer or in the fridge. It stays beautifully pourable in the freezer too so don’t fret, at home we often take it from freezer to toaster and back and it needs no defrosting time. It’s truly the most beautiful thing I jar, jeweled; red and gleaming, “Summer in a Jar” to be sure!  Place a little piece of fabric on the lid before you screw on the jar ring and what a perfectly perfect hostess gift for all those summer parties and BBQs.

Summer in a Jar - Strawberry Freezer Jam Summer in a Jar - Strawberry Freezer Jampink vintage bowls make the world a better place Summer in a Jar - Strawberry Freezer Jam Summer in a Jar - Strawberry Freezer Jam Summer in a Jar - Strawberry Freezer JamSummer in a Jar - Strawberry Freezer JamSummer in a Jar - Strawberry Freezer Jam

Summer in a Jar - Strawberry Freezer Jam

Sure-Jell Certo Recipe

Makes about 4 cups Jam

You will need:

  • 2 pints strawberries, washed stems discarded and crushed
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 4 cups sugar
  • 1 pouch Certo
  • Sanitized and washed jars and lids – get fresh tops

How to:

  • Crush strawberries with a potato masher, leaving some fruit chucks
  • Spoon in 2 cups of strawberries to a bowl with 4 cups sugar
  • *Note: reducing sugar will yield no jam, (don’t jam up the process, use the sugar)
  • Allow sugar and strawberries to sit for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally
  • Then stir pectin and lemon together and add to fruit and sugar mixture
  • Mix constantly for 3 minutes or until the sugar has dissolved
  • Pour into prepared jars allowing a ½ inch of space at the top
  • Allow to sit at room temperature for 24 hours
  • Then refrigerate for up to 3 weeks or freeze for up to a year

 

It’s jammer time!

Marcella Rose

Summer in a Jar - Strawberry Freezer Jam

Dandelion Seed Necklace – a wish in a jar

Dandelion Seed Necklace – a wish in a jar

I have been thinking about my mother a lot recently.  Yes, mother’s day is coming (it’s on May 10th FYI) but it’s not the holiday per say, that is making me contemplative.  It is simply that my mom is amazing.  My thoughts lean toward her each passing day of my adulthood and I think of her more and more.  I appreciate her more and more and yes, even love her more and more.  My parents always told me growing up that you don’t get to choose who your family is.  This is a very true, sometimes harsh reality for a majority of the population.  For someone with no choice in the matter at all, I certainly lucked out.  My mom was able to stay at home with us as we grew up; one of the greatest treasures, biggest sacrifices and most lavish gifts I will ever receive is that every day, my mom was there.  She woke us up every morning and was there when we came home from school every afternoon.  She didn’t do everything for us. Oh no, she helped us learn how to be self-sufficient, taught us to cook, to do laundry, to be respectful, to sew, and to generally be productive little people and no, not for an allowance.  We did these things under her guidance not for money, but because we were a part of a whole; a member of the household, these were our responsibilities.  She taught me that each day I can make the world a better place by participating and taking pride in what I do.

While she made us into little, accountable people who grew up to be capable adults, she also indulged our fantasies.  We could always use the couch as a fort; I mean what else is a couch for?!  Of course we could use the National Geographic Magazines as stones during an epic hot lava game; what else would work better?  She even dug a 5 foot deep by 6 foot wide hole in the tough Nevada dirt and covered it with wooden beams for my brother to have a fortress.  All boys need a hideout after all.  She would make us high tea when the weather turned nice… we would walk home from school to find her out in her luscious garden surrounded by quaking aspen, her long chestnut curls in a loose ponytail, table covered with a floral cloth; tea and cakes and scones all set out.  She would call to us asking if we would join her and under the shade of the trees with the smell of blossoming flowers on the wind, she would ask about our day as she poured tea.  She would listen, really listen, as her motherly hands lumped sugar and poured cream into each little tea cup with care and once we were done sharing, she would tell us stories.  Sometimes she would reach down and snap off the stem of a dandelion.  She would hold it up to our little faces and say, “close your eyes, make a wish, and blow.” It’s something her grandmother always did and this time of year, when the little seeded fluffs start to sprout up in my lawn, I look at them and smile. Then with a deft hand, snap the stem, bring it to my face and hear my mom whisper, “make a wish,” and I wish that I will be the kind of mother my mom is one day, and I close my eyes and blow.

Dandelion Seed Necklace – a wish in a jar
Dandelion Seed Necklace - wish in a jar
Dandelion Seed Necklace – a wish in a jar Dandelion Seed Necklace – a wish in a jar Dandelion Seed Necklace – a wish in a jar Dandelion Seed Necklace – a wish in a jar Dandelion Seed Necklace – a wish in a jar
Dandelion Seed Necklace – a wish in a jar

Dandelion Seed Necklace – a wish in a jar

Here is a little craft to make with those beautiful dandelions, a wish-in-a-jar necklace. A perfect gift for this mother’s day or for anyone out there that could use a wish or two.

You will need

  • Little cork-topped vials, I got mine on amazon.com
  • Thin jewelry wire
  • Necklace Chain
  • Dandelion seeds

How To:

  • Pull off the seeds from the dandelion and place in vials, using tweezers if you need to
  • Take jewelry wire and shape into a loop twisting the two ends together, trim short
  • Push the twisted ends of the jewelry wire into the cork top leaving just the loop showing
  • Thread your necklace chain through the loop
  • Push your cork back into the vial

To wishes,

Marcella Rose Dandelion Seed Necklace – a wish in a jar





Vintage Chritmas Wrapping

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Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens
Brown paper packages tied up with strings
These are a few of my favorite things
Cream colored ponies and crisp apple strudels
Doorbells and sleigh bells and schnitzel with noodles
Wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings
These are a few of my favorite things
Girls in white dresses, with blue satin sashes
Snow flakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes
Silver white winters that melt into springs
These are a few of my favorite things
When the dog bites, when the bee stings
When I’m feeling sad
I simply remember my favorite things
Like silver white winters that melt into springs
And then I don’t feel so bad
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I simply adore this song.  I love hearing it come on the radio this time of year, recalling memories so vivid they instandly bring a smile to my face.  One line that always stood out to me was Brown Paper Packages Tied Up with String.  I just love packages wrapped in bown paper, even as a little girl I would cut open paper grocery bags and steal my moms cooking twine to wrap my gifts under the tree, I was always an odd duck.  My husband, knowing me all too well, now wraps all my gifts up with twine and brown paper.  Even though it’s so simple, there is something so beautiful about it.  It’s classic, and nostalgic, and, well perfectly, perfect.  They seem to come from another time.  With this nostalgic idea in mind I set out this year to put a spin on that idea, upping my game from simple brown paper and string, to a package looking like it’s been delievered striaght from the North Pole .  With just a few tools you too can put a fun and festive twist on an old classic this holiday.
I love vintage stamps and finding them is half the fun.  For this craft I scoured Etsy finding old gorgeous holiday stamps to slap onto the gifts.  It’s so fun to see the stamps of Holidays past.  Just add a little festive baking twine, some adorable stamps, (these found on Amazon) a few retro stickers and you have a package fit for St. Nick’s sleigh.   These gifts are charming and sure to make the recipiant smile from ear to ear; after all the wrapping is part of the gift giving process! Not to mention it will save you more than a few pennies not to buy all that fancy shiny wrapping paper.  I bought a large ream of this brown paper at my local hardware store in the painting department for $10 and I didn’t even make a dent in it this holiday season.  This is also adorable on envelopes too! Imagine receiving a card in the mail looking like it has been delievered from another time.
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You will need
  • Brown paper
  • Baking twine
  • Stamps and stickers
  • Siccors
  • Pen
How to
  • Wrap
  • Tape
  • Tie
  • Decorate
  • Give
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Wrap it up!
Marcella  Rose

Peppermint Lip Scrub – Freshen up your pucker up for Valentine’s Day!








Peppermint Lip Scrub

Peppermint Lip Scrub

The winter is bearing down on us all and taking its toll on our bodies.  You can feel it in the brittleness of your hair, the dryness of your skin and your chapped lips.  For me, the lips are always the worst.  No matter how much water I drink they still can feel dry at the end of the winter.  I know there are some great lip scrubs on the market but they are spend-y.  So what is a DIY girl to do?  Make them yourself of course!

Peppermint Lip Scrub

This scrub is so simple and easy and the peppermint not only adds to the exfoliation process but freshens up the breath as well.  Just take a dollop and place on your lips for a minute or two, then buff off with a washcloth and warm water and voila! smooth lips that are ready to be kissed by that certain someone on this Valentine’s Day.  As a bonus, wouldn’t these make sweet little Valentine’s gift too?   Simple, sweet, useful and cheap; that is my kind of gift!

Peppermint Lip Scrub

Peppermint Lip Scrub

You Will Need

Glass Jar(s)

Sugar – the finer the sugar, the better the exfoliation

Coconut oil

Peppermint extract

Paper, pen and string for bottle – optional

Peppermint Lip Scrub

Peppermint Lip Scrub

How To

Measure the sugar in the jars you are using and pour into a bowl

Measure the same amount of coconut oil

Add a few drops of peppermint extract

Mix quickly; too much agitation can make the sugar dissolve

Spoon onto jars

Label and Tie with string if desired

Peppermint Lip Scrub

Peppermint Lip Scrub

Love, love, love, and lip scrub its all you need.