Friday, September 06, 2013

Blueberries and raspberries and chocolate, oh my!

Blueberries were on sale at Dillons for $1 a pint and I just got excited and bought four and decided to make jam.  I used this recipe (and chose it because of the lovely pictures) and Linda made it with me one Monday night and even though we forgot to add the pectin at first and had to dump out some jars back into the pot and stir in the pectin and then re-sterilize the jars and start again it was really fun and the jam is yummy.  

Then the next week raspberries were on sale!  I bought 6 and made some more jam.  Raspberry jam is lovely because the seeds have pectin so you don't have to buy it-hooray!  I didn't exactly follow directions but I used this recipe and it all turned out delicious.  

I can't ever bring myself to taste the jam on regular old sandwich bread so the day after I make jam I have to make french bread.  These two loaves were the prettiest I've made yet, maybe closer to Mom's standards.  I have a question about the kneading though.  I didn't knead these very long at all, maybe a couple of minutes, and I knew it wasn't "smooth and elastic" like the recipe called for and like I remember Mom's being, but I was afraid of the bread turning out tough.  I was reading recipes today and it sounds like I ought to be kneading it (in my mixer) for about 8 minutes.  These loaves taste yummy.  What will the extra kneading do?

MJL loves chocolate milk but Hershey's syrup is so expensive, it's always hard to buy (and annoying, half of the time  you can't find it in the store).  My Dad sent me a recipe to make your own so I tried it out.  It's good and easy!  I just ran the bottle through the dishwasher to get it all clean and nice and poured my homemade syrup right in and everyone is happy.  Here's the recipe I used, though I used tap water, regular cocoa, regular sugar, and regular salt and vanilla instead of fancy organic everything, just in case you thought I had all of a sudden changed everything about myself.

What else is worth making yourself?  Any suggestions for me?


In the Mix said...

Yummy post. I miss my kitchen.
So, the deal with kneading.... Kneading helps create long strands of gluten. The gluten forms layers that trap steam and gas biproducts from the fermentation process, this creating lift or rise in your bread. Kneading a little longer than you have been will just finish what you started. That aid, they are lovely looking loaves.
Other things I think are better homemade...
Marinara sauce, tomato soup, refried or whole beans, sand I'm experimenting with coffee creamer.

Kelsey Gray said...

Mouth watering goodness!

betsyann said...

Ooh, keep me posted on the creamer! That's another ridiculous expense that makes my days better.

In the Mix said...

Oh, I forgot ice cream! It' so so so good homemade. :) And I'll let you know on the creamer. It is a ridiculous expense.