Wedding Jams, Part 3: Ribes’ Rogues’ Gallery and the Final Result

Having explained how my wedding jam-making process developed in the last two posts, this third one is just taking a look at the three additional flavors I did in tiny batches. The majority of my fruit donors had blackcurrants and redcurrants, since those are the most commonly grown in Finnish yards. They have the most uses and a family can easily go through a whole crop over a winter, if they are made into juices and jams. There are also a few not-as-common ribes that I was allowed to harvest — whitecurrants and gooseberries. They all produced very different-looking and different-tasting jams, which …

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Wedding Jams, Part 2: Redcurrant Rhapsody

Next up after the blackcurrants were the redcurrants. In Finland, these are usually used in desserts, while the blackcurrants are usually juiced. Both are not so often made into jam, apparently. I ended up trading some with a coworker for her apple jam and her kids were excited by the novelty of it. With such gorgeous translucent color, you can see why they are often used for decorating cakes. As with the previous recipe, I used a 1:1 ratio of fruit to sugar. So in went about 1 kilo of frozen berries. Time lapse of berries cooking down and releasing …

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Wedding Jams, Part 1: The Blackcurrant Edition

Flashback time! This post is technically from 2011, but since I took these photos in the middle of being a one-woman wedding production team, I didn’t so much get around to writing it up back then. One month went by, then another… you know how procrastination snowballs. Then last month, I gave a friend some homemade jam and she mentioned that she’d really like to get into canning. I was all, “I have a post about tha… oh, wait, I DON’T.” So it’s time we fix that, eh? This was the homemade blackcurrant jam I did for wedding favors back in autumn …

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Forest Fruit Baby Smoothie

I’m pretty sure this was my very first baby smoothie, made back in February. I had actually intended to make it for myself and share it with the baby, but he ended up liking them so much that I had to keep it up after we started. Now he looks indignant if he doesn’t get offered a pouch with his morning porridge. At least he’ll fit right in when we go back to California this autumn 🙂 The forest fruits involved are homegrown raspberries (the last of them from the 2014 harvest) and some frozen store-bought Finnish bilberries (since they have …

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Applefest 2014, Part 3: Apple Jelly

Jelly is one of those things that I rarely use, but will usually stock for the occasional irrational craving (which often leads to my using a whole jar in a week). I can’t say I’ve looked very hard for it at the supermarket these past few years, but I’m pretty sure that the majority of stuff on Finnish shelves is berry preserves. Which is just fine most of the time, but it hit me last autumn that I really wouldn’t mind some apple jelly in the pantry. Lucky for me, there was a glut of apples to process. Part of my apple …

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Blueberry Pea Baby Smoothie

So yes, peas. I’ve been getting more adventurous with my smoothie combinations and wanted to do some spring cleaning with my freezer stash. The baby has mostly graduated from purees, so I figured this was a good way to use them all up. A bit of balancing is still required, of course, since the resulting combination has to be sweet enough to still be attractive for tiny taste buds. To be on the safe side, I went with one the stronger tasting fruits available, and it ended up working quite well. 400 grams of frozen Finnish bilberries. They are like blueberries, …

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Pumpkin Nectarine Baby Smoothie

In my last post, I mentioned that I had strayed from making pure fruit smoothies for the wee one, so here is one of those examples. Although strictly speaking, a pumpkin is a fruit. Also by the same logic, tofu is made from soy beans, which are also technically a fruit. Not that the baby cares — he’s just all, “Orange goop, yay!” We also gave a couple pouches of this concoction to his little baby bestie, who seemed equally happy to slurp it down with hardly a pause for breathing. With plenty of fruity sweetness and a punch of protein, what’s …

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Kiwi Pear Baby Smoothie

My baby is a smoothie addict. Not a bad thing to be, since it makes his five-a-day fruit/veggie quota easy to fill, but it can be a bit hard on the pocketbook if we only use ready-to-eat pouches from the supermarket. Which we obviously don’t, since I enjoy making my own baby food, but there definitely are situations (any outing longer than a few hours, for example) where convenience and shelf stability trump freshness and low costs. Having a few of these in my bag when we’re on the go during a mealtime has saved my butt on more than …

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Applefest 2014, Part 2: Cinnamon Applesauce

As I mentioned in Part 1, applesauce was high up on my to-do list for canning this year. As baby food, snack, or ingredient — there’s really no bad in having lots of applesauce around. Although I had previously made it before, I never had such a glut of apples that I was able to try more than one recipe. This year, I did at least five and half our apples are still in deep freeze for later processing 😀 The first time around, I just washed and halved the apples before tossing them into the steamer. This was the only time …

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Applefest 2014, Part 1: Homemade apple juice!

I mentioned last year that we had a few apple trees on our property. Two large ones that produce very decent cooking/eating apples and two smaller crabapples. All of them were very prolific this year, owing to a gentle spring followed by generously long growing season. For the past two years, I’ve been using a blend of these apples to make a very nice juice. Which is great, since apple juice is something we like to have in the fridge all the time and that can get spendy with Finnish grocery prices. Our two larger trees in flower earlier this …

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