Tuesday, April 24, 2012

old school repurposing

is a good thing.
(Thanks Martha.)

It is most definitely
a new way of thinking.

The contrary...
it is embracing a way of life
that saw our great grandparents
and parents through
difficult times.

Or simply...

their way of thinking...
being frugal.
Before it was hip to do so.

Enter a new generation.
One that will often times pay big bucks
at fancy food chains
(aka Fresh Market)
to find others that embrace an

I could plant my own
strawberry patch out back...
pamper them...keep them
free from pesticides
and fertilizers.

I can buy three packages
for $10.

My first time at this market...
so that is what I did.

Super ripe...
smelling sweet...
I just read a list of must buy it organic
and strawberries topped the list
(all thin skinned fruits and veggies)

Now what?
Slice and eat...
Did that.
Still have 2 1/2 cartons left.

Refusing to watch them go bad
I got my frugal grandma on.

Enter Sure Jell.

Wash canning jars.
Dedicate an hour to this old craft.
I always follow the freezer method.

Wash berries...
chop/crush berries
with recommended potato masher
(don't own one)
or food processor BUT be careful
not to go too crazy
you want chunks.
(impossible for me)

use a handy dandy
pastry knife.

Thanks to mom
who purchased this for me
YEARS ago.
It can mash avocados...
chop eggs for egg salad...
today, crush strawberries...

 doing its job of
blending pie dough


Add sugar per package
2 cups berries...4 cups sugar...
warning that if you don't measure
carefully the jam
won't set.

So I now have sugary jam...
in pretty jars.

I know it will be good
because I've made
it before.
I just forgot how much sugar
it called for.

But with more strawberries
to be used I headed
to Kroger for more pectin...
reduced sugar recipe.

this recipe calls for
4 cups crushed berries...3 cups sugar.
I only had 2 cups left...
I did the unthinkable and
altered the recipe...
ignoring warnings.

Which meant I had to figure out
how to cut the pectin in half.
First measured contents=1/3 cup
(in case you are wondering)
got on ask.com to find what the
equivalent is in Tablespoons=5.

Needed 2 1/2 Tb.

Sure I could toss the rest
but the great grandma in me
found a more palatable

I made this funnel
using a pop bottle top
from the recycling bin...
the rest of the bottle went back to recycling.
Now I have
a kitchen funnel
and a labelled spice jar with
an explanation for the me of the future
who won't know what the heck that
powdery stuff 
is in that jar.

At home with various
spices I have accumulated...
sitting on the shelf
of a spice rack I found at
a Goodwill in Manistee MI.

My sweet mom...
who started this strange behavior
of mine...
was over for lunch yesterday
and commented on my little
kitchen corner...saying...

"All those reds look so pretty together."

Don't you just love moms
who see beyond the mess
to the beauty of it all?

Back to repurposing...
I ask you...
a new fangled concept
old school thinking known as
"make do with what you have?"

I think you know my answer.

Thanks to all the women in my life
past and present
were the founders
of the movement.


  1. Okay, that IS weird! I was just reading about strawberry jam making methods last night in bed, dreaming about when the fresh strawberries come in. Can you use the freezer method with glass jars? We'll have to talk! love, rosebud

  2. Yes you can. That was one of the wonderful things I learned from my online workshop, Whole Food Kitchen. Freezing beans, prepared in advance meals...in canning jars. It is recommended to use wide mouth jars (or the like) that have little or no shoulder...the weak spot on the jar. I will let you know if I encounter any problems. Love to you.