Today was jam day.  The strawberries have been insanely good so far, so today the Boy Child and I went to the U District Farmers Market and scored these beauties.

It’s funny how many people are scared to can/preserve things.  It’s really not that hard.  I’ve done pickled green green beans, spiked apple butter and pepper jelly the old-fashioned way, where you have to sterilize the jars and process the filled jars in a boiling water bath.  But TODAY I am doing freezer jam, which could not be any easier.  Seriously, if you can make instant pudding, you can make freezer jam.  Now they even make special pectin so that you don’t even need to cook the jam!  I picked up some of that,and some plastic freezer jars as well as the regular glass ones to give away.

I picked up a full flat of berries (hate to run out!).  You need about 4 pints of berries, depending on how full they are, for a batch, plus 1 1/2 cups sugar (bonus of this pectin – uses a lot less sugar).  You wash them and cut the green bits and any mushy bits off, and mash them til they are chunky as you like.  Do not be tempted to double the recipe!  You will be sorry when your lovely jam does not set up.  This is so quick you can do two batches back to back like I did.

Then you add the sugar and pectin and stir for 3 minutes!  That’s it!  Now you fill your already-cleaned jars, leaving 1/2 inch headroom for expansion in the freezer, and let it set up for 30 minutes.  It keeps for a year in the freezer and a month in the frig. I wish these photos came with scratch -n -sniff!

first day of REAL summer

Against the wishes of my entire family, who would prefer to spend the first real day of summer glued to a screen of some sort, I dragged them to Green Lake, Jack included.  And my new camera, though I must confess to still needing to practice with the manual.

At some point I switched the aspect ratio from 16:9 to 4:3, which is why that second one is a different size.  At least, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

Same with these leaves and the daisy.  I like the leaves for their texture and shadow.  We were headed toward the off leash area, where Jack proceeded to make sure all the “swimming holes” were empty.  He does not do this with his dish at home, but he will do it at the park as long as some poor sucker will keep filling it up.

I tried to get one of these using “shutter priority” button to see if the water would look different.  Too bad I can’t remember which one – though if I had to guess I’d say it was the second one.  Emma and Dean made a friend in Annie – she growled every time a dog came near!

The family is now of course firmly ensconced in front of their screen of choice, but they did all admit it was a fun outing.  Score one for Mom!

P.S. For you Roanoke-watchers,  in some surprise news, we learned today the buyers have backed out.  So far, calls to the landlord and their broker have not  been returned so our status is STILL unknown.  Stay tuned.


Finally!  Something good to write about!  And no, sadly, it is not bar-related.  (Let’s just get that update out of the way:  we are waiting to hear back from the buyers about a lease.  Again.)

No, THIS is the fun new toy, a Panasonic LX3…

It came today.  I fired up the battery this morning and took it out for a test spin at lunch today.  Be warned – I am a complete and utter amateur.  Here are a few shots from the Market (note the fierce wide angle on this baby!)

I took this next one for Mike – it’s not the real Skillet, but supposed to be good all the same.  From the people of Beechers cheese fame.

This is the view out my office window…

Then I came home and busted out the Macro/Flower thingie…

Oh, hey, if any of you have any blogging/posting photos via Mac tips, I’d be eternally grateful.  I swear I do it differently every time, and I’m surely doing it some dumbass, inefficient way.  Now, back to the manual…