It’s Muh Jam!

How is May here already?

I’m not even sure what happened…other than I felt like April was a complete hurricane of a month.

I can honestly say, I neglected Fernandough this month. He is alive and strong…but he was left to fend for himself some days. And that is totally ok. I left for a weekend getaway and fed him just before leaving…and sent him to the fridge for the weekend…with a hug and a kiss. Sometimes it’s ok to neglect your starter. The amazing thing about natural yeast…is it’s strong…and it can come back from almost anything.

He and I are back in the kitchen working today. A couple (4) artisan loaves are going and we kicked out some english muffins this morning. It will feel good to stock up my freezer and feed the ones I love.

TODAY THO….is all about jam. I saw strawberries in the store a couple weeks ago and knew the time was coming. CLAPPING!! I have been looking forward to making jam for a while now. There is something about homemade jam. It feels so ….well….homey. It’s so satisfying to see the jars of jam cooling on your counter….to hear those jars pop and seal…and to refill the shelves. Food. I can make food! I can be self sustaining and independent if I need to be. I don’t grow my own strawberries…but I could! I don’t grow my own wheat…but I could! But for now…I can fill my shelves and freezer and all of my cute pink 5 gallon buckets with food.

I am sharing my strawberry jam recipe…click here. So now you can have your own secret toast and jam!

Yes, I use real sugar. And I don’t skimp on it either. In my opinion, this is way better than what I can buy at the store. First, I know every single ingredient that goes into it…..second, I use high quality ingredients and everything is washed and clean….and third….it’s made with love. It’s basically the same recipe for every fruit except raspberries because they are gross and I refuse. I can’t even make that jam for my dad and he loves it. I just can’t bring myself to be victimized by raspberries in my own home. So you’ll have to go to Pinterest for any raspberry contamination.

I will snag apricots as soon as they are ready…and patiently wait for peaches through the summer…those are muh favorite jams!! I am fortunate to live in an area known for growing amazing delicious fruits and vegetables. I have so many memories of picking and eating warm fruit right off of a tree in the middle of an orchard. There is nothing better. My sisters and I picked cherries as our first teenage jobs, and the highway where I grew up is known as the “fruit highway” with many fruit stands along about a 12 mile stretch of road. I still drive there to this day to get my produce in the summer. It will always be home.

I’m so grateful for the earth…and for hard working farmers. I completely missed posting on Earth Day. Which was my plan…to dedicate a post specifically to her. But truthfully, every post is dedicated to her. Nothing I share could be without her! Every single day I see the EARTH! Promise me…that this week…you will take 1 full minute out of your day to look around you…out a window….stare at the birds……stand barefoot in the grass…really taste a strawberry…. and just be grateful.

The BLAH’s

I was really feeling BLAH this week.

I think we are all feeling BLAH. It seemed like everyone I talked to this week…..”I’m feeling BLAH.”….”yeah me too.”

And you know what? It’s ok. We’ve all been through a lot this year…it’s ok to not feel ok!

I was trying to decide what to post today…and I ended up deciding to post BLAH!

It’s Sunday…so I got up this morning… turned on my favorite Sunday music….started some bread dough and some English muffin dough. And decided that I needed some help getting me out of the BLAH’S. So today…it was about the earth for me. I caught a glimpse of the Wellsvilles (a mountain range where I live) as the sun was coming up…still covered in snow, they were glowing and beautiful. I just stared….and took it in. I wish I would have taken a picture… but I didn’t know I was gonna post this today…and I was too busy just staring.

I love the earth. I love her. I have so much gratitude for her. Have you ever stopped to think about what she really does for us? She freely provides everything we need…..she has impeccable timing and she’s more than reliable. She never stops giving. Her beauty is unmatched….and I literally could find something new every single day that I haven’t seen before. Sometimes if we will just take a few minutes to really look….she will heal us. Mentally and physically by what she gives. She brings us joy…. gives a smile… shows us hope …..puts light where there is none….not to mention the nutrition she provides. She must be exhausted! Just having those thoughts today brought me an unexplainable amount of gratitude for her. Which in turn lifted my BLAH’s.

The truth in baking gives me comfort. The laws of it. If I use a certain ingredient and mix or cook it a certain way…it has to become what has to become. It’s a law! So I know when I grind wheat berries….I’ll get flour. And I know that when I add natural yeast with that flour and some water…a little salt…give it some time. It will rise. And I will get bread. It has to! It’s a law! That brings comfort and satisfaction to me.

Today was a great baking day. I felt a little more connected to Fernandough…. to his creation. To the ingredients. Putting everything in the bowl. Getting my hands in there and feeling the consistency…the stickiness….the ingredients coming together. Becoming what they have to become. When I pulled these hot babies from the oven….my heart felt so full. Like the earth had said, “Thank you for thinking of me today”.

Sometimes just finding a little something to be grateful for…can take away the BLAH’s. Plus you get some beautiful, delicious bread as a result.