Friday, December 15, 2017

Tonight At Smithfield Virgina The Christmas Market

 
 Tonight I will have many gifts and lots of honey, goat cheese, and jams and of course lots of soaps. Hope to see you soon.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Yummy Breads and Candies for the Holidays










The large bowl of pecans hand picked North Carolina pecans 
The pecan turtles right after the chocolate drizzled on 

The finished pecan turtles 
The apple bread 


I made fig cakes, buttermilk pound cakes and apple breads. 

Sunday, December 10, 2017

A market in Elizabeth City today

Hello everyone today I did a show in Elizabeth City NC and got to see one of my dearest friends whom I used to attend her art classes back in 2000. Laura. It was wonderful reconnecting with each other after many years.




How I set up for today. 

The Tanglewood Lake Holiday Market 

I just love both of these. 


The little bags I hand painted and do enjoy so. I was inspired by several images on Pinterest. 

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Upcoming classes to Norfolk Virginia at Wine and Cake Hobbies

Hello wanted to let you know about the new and upcoming classes at the Wine and Cake Hobbies in Norfolk Virginia for October and November.

Call Wine and Cake Hobbies to sign up now. 









Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Recipe for Making Strawberry Jam and Canning the Yummy Goodness


Hello everyone and welcome.  I will be teaching a class at Wine and Cake Hobbies tonight March 7, 2017 in Norfolk Virginia. I am making this post to help the students or anyone else along the way.
The finished pint jars for my families use only.
 
I have been canning since I was a girl with my grandma Grace who is now in her 90's.
Although I didn't quit know why or what I was doing then I just remember standing at the sink and stove with her, and her telling me over and over you will hear a "ping" when the jars start sealing. I also loved eating everything she canned. My favorite was pear preserves......oh my!!! I asked for that every time and Welch's Grape Juice when I was at her house. To start with the basics of jar preparations please see this post
this will help to prepare your jars for canning. I use Ball canning jars most of the time as we buy a pallet full at a time. The Ball website is wonderful and has great recipes and instruction.
 
 
Here I am going through the strawberries to see if there are any that aren't in great shape such as a moldy one of really yucky one (you will know)

Wash them well moving them around to get all the strawberries and allow to drain
Too much water on strawberries and cause them to water downed tasting so try not to soak them, I have had ones that had so much sand and dirt on them I had to resort to that but do so briefly.
 
 
Let me also remind you to always wear some kind of covering on your head and an apron. I just love my Grateful Dead one my mom got me.....Thanks MOM!
 

 
Begin by capping the strawberries I use a tool I have had for many years and you can still find them on Ebay or other sites search from strawberry huller, strawberry capper, or even tomato huller.
Once capped you will need to use a bowl of a 13x9 dish to smash the strawberries with a potato smasher. You don't have to puree them just create juice and break them down some. I like mine "chunky"
 
 
You can see I don't completely pulp them
 
More smashing of the strawberries
 
Here you want to have 5 cups of mashed strawberries usually as reference its takes about 8 cups of whole strawberries to make the 5 cups of mashed berries. I always have so many that when its strawberry time I could can jam until I had 100's of jars so I always have more than enough.
 
Have your seven cups of sugar already measured out so once your strawberries are boiling you can have that ready to pour in the pot when its time.
 
Begin warming the strawberries on the stove top
add in your pectin (I use pectin in bulk) but whatever pectin you use read the instructions some pectin's are added at different times and have different directions, SO PLEASE READ THE INSTRUCTIONS of the PECTIN YOU are Using!!
 
 
Add three tablespoons of lemon juice
add your pectin I use one box of pectin
 
mix together the pectin and the lemon juice and begin to bring to a boil once you have a boil that cant be stirred down add your sugar
 
Add sugar in (*the seven cups already measured out) into the pot, bring to a full rolling boil that cant be stirred down and once you are there set your timer for one full minute. Then your jam is done.
 
Some don't want to use pectin and if that is the case you can carry your jam to a temp of 220 degrees Fahrenheit. This is only if you are not adding the pectin. Strawberries are very low in pectin and the older they get the less pectin there is.
 
These are the flats and rings in water that is approx. 180 degrees you don't need to boil them, just bring them to a temp of approx. 180 degrees and then keep them around that temp until ready to use.
 
Now you can skim off any white foam that has occurred while stirring I usually use a rubber spatula that is high temp safe and NSF. The canning funnel and the ladle can be purchased thru Ball
 or look at your local canning supply store.
You can begin now spooning in the jam with your ladle and your canning funnel. If you note the clear spatula in the jar that is to remove air bubbles, if you don't have one of these you can use a long knife such as a cake icing spreader that is narrow. I have that one for many years. Ball has a green one now to purchase.
Here I am wiping the rim of the jars with very hot water to insure there is no drippings and anything on the lid to keep the flats from sealing.
 
 
Place your flats and rings on the wiped jars and tighten as you would normally
 
Place the jars in the warmed waterbath canner and once all jars are in make sure the water comes 1" above the jar lids. Begin to increase the temperature and once it comes to a rolling boil begin timing for 10 minutes.

 
Once it boils I turn the stovetop down some and place the lid on the pot and vent a little to make sure the water is always boiling. Time for 10 minutes and once the timer is up time again for 5 minutes then remove the jars from the canner and place on a dry towel on the counter top. Allow them to cool on the counter until completely cooled. They will begin sealing some right away and others can take longer. If it does not seal you can use right way or try to water bath again. I usually have them all seal but every once in awhile there is always one that doesn't, we usually just eat that one. My boys don't mind. LOL!
Finished!!

 
Me making the jam.
 
Recipe
8 cups of whole strawberries
mashed to make 5 cups
1 box of pectin see above foe instructions
3 Tablespoons of lemon juice
7 cups of sugar
see above for directions.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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