Eating Local for Urban Families. Gluten-free and Dairy-free, too!

Tuesday, July 8

Well, hello there.

I honestly didn’t mean to be away for 9 months. Was I hibernating? In a way.

When I stopped blogging last fall I was transitioning from post-baby, part-time working life to full-time working again. Yowza. I thought I was easing into it but, as a good friend told me recently, work is like water: it will seep in everywhere if you let it. My blogging time got eaten up with client work, networking and business development. We went through a few nannies (that was fun). I’d been a full-time working mama before, but with two kids, and running my consultancy all on my own this time was really different. I was discombobulated.

And I was obsessing about food. A lot.

Not the kind of obsessing that women do when they’re trying to lose weight. But I was back in that place where I was feeling like the very existence of human life depended on my food choices. And other people’s food choices. And I was getting judgmental--of myself and everyone around me. And that wasn’t a good place to be. That’s the antithesis of what this blog is about.

So I took a break. Not entirely from local eating (though there has been a lot of Thai take-out now that there’s a new place down the street!), but from writing about it. I wondered if I would ever get back. And then, after I explained my absence, Shuna Fish Lydon (you know, my giant foodie-writer crush) sent me a little note on Facebook saying, “We'll be happy to have you back.” So I just decided to take my time.

In the meantime some of you were still discovering this blog and I’ve been so happy to get your emails (thank you!). And some of you stopped me in the grocery store and asked me when I’d be back. I can’t tell you how much the inspired me to at least keep thinking about writing.

I feel like there’s so much to catch up on. But I’ll pace myself.

For now, I’ll post this picture of my first strawberry freezer jam of the season, the same recipe that got me started on this local eating road (oh, and the recipe is below, too). Yes, it was a tad overcooked (hazard of making jam while updating client budgets), but I didn’t hear any complaints.

Small Batch Freezer Jam
-about 2 pints of berries, washed
-about 1/2 cup sugar
-1 tsp. lemon juice (optional)
1. On medium heat, combine berries, sugar and lemon juice in a wide pan or pot. Stir frequently and do not let the mixture boil (a few bubbles is okay). Depending on water content of the berries cook time can be 30 - 90 minutes.
2. While jam is cooking, place a small dish or bowl in the freezer. You'll use this to test the jam's thickness.
3. When jam seems like it's thickened to *almost* jam consistency, put a dallop on your cold bowl or plate and see if the jam firms up to a finished jam feel. If yes, you're done. If it's runny, cook a little longer.

Edited to add:
Oopsa daisy. Left out the final step! This is what happens when you post to your blog in the middle of the night. Thank you, commenters!
4. Store the jam in the fridge for up to about 2 weeks (I dare you to make it last that long) or for 6+ months in the freezer. Again, likely it won't make it to that mark. ;)


Jill Brochard said...

Yeah!!! Glad to see back!! I've missed you!!

MKM said...

Wow! I thought you were gone forever, welcome back!

So, I've never made freezer jam before so I apologize for asking a stupid question but, once it's done cooking do you fill jars and store them in the freezer?

Karolcooks said...

I'm asking the same question as hootchie scooter mama...thanks!

Anonymous said...

welcome back. I was just thinking about you yesterday. Does this mean we'll see you at Blogher?

LeLo said...

Hey. Welcome back. I'm so glad to see you here again!

PunditMom said...

Glad you're back!

Katherine Gray said...

Thank you all so much for the warm welcome back. And yes, I'll be at BlogHer! This time I'll be baby-free (which is bittersweet, of course).

Anonymous said...

thanks for sharing your ideas, i'm trying my best to learn how to cook (decent meals :-)
I hope your OK with Asian foods too, because they are also yummy :-)... Busby SEO challenge