Monday, August 22, 2016

Making Raspeberry Freezer Jam

After being given several flats worth of almost over-the-hill raspberries, I made it my afternoons work to make a stock pile of freezer jam. (Freezer jam is real jam, it is just skipping the step of processing it in heat and instead using a freezer to preserve the jam and keep it safe to eat.)
freezer, raspberries, jam, homemade jam
 The nice part of making freezer jam rather than canning, is that it is fast and less messy. If you are worried you won't have the time to can a bunch of jam this can be a fabulous substitute.
freezer, preserving food, raspberries, recipes for freezer jam
 I usually follow the rule of thumb to use equal parts fruit and sugar. I don't typically add pectin, which means the jam will be a bit sloppybut I like it that way. Simmer down the fruit and sugar for at least 20 minutes; though you can go a little longer and the jam will become thicker. I sometimes add a dash of spice or orange zest. My favorite spices to use are cardamom, nutmeg or allspice though cinnamon is a good one too. Depending on the fruit and how juicy it is, you may need to add a splash of water to avoid burning the bottom of the pot. Note, too much will make soupy jam that doesn't hold at all. 

Pour the jam into clean mason jars leaving half an inch of head-room. Twist on the cover and let cool. Place the unopened jars in your freezer and keep opened jam jars for use in the fridge.

The jam will last quite a while. I looked up specifics and this link said up to a year in a freezer and once thawed about 3-4 weeks.

Hope summer is wrapping up well for everyone!

                                                        Cheers ~

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Multnomah Falls

We trekked out to Hood River for a short day trip and stopped along the way at Multnomah Falls. It is such a breathtaking place and the air there is truly pure magic! The loud rushing of cars along the highway and strands of people hiking reminded me of visiting Yosemite—an exquisite place with the uncanny sensation of being at Disneyland. My mama was in town and that added a special twist because she hadn't been to the falls before and the air and lush green was so like when we skittered off to Hawaii together several years back.
Oregon wilderness

multnomah falls

Anyway, if you never have been out there and have a chance to go exploring I highly recommend it!

                                                                        ~ Marica

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Summer reading...

Well here she is, my newest book:
summer reading for kids 

childrens books

It was originally a gift I had made for my daughter's ninth birthday almost four years ago now—I can't believe how time flies! I had never expected to publish this one, it was more of an ode to my daughter and juvenile fiction in general. 

As a kid I was a big reader, but I liked the sort of meandering books like Little House on the Prairie and the Melendy family series. I preferred older books about everyday things more than adventure stories and tales of the impossible. I did like those too, but somehow I'd always come back to my favorites reading A Little Princess more than nine times—once twice back to back—and all the Betsy, Tacy and Tib books.

The published version of Maribelle has all new illustrations and an a slightly expanded story-line, but for the most part it is the same book. This is the original version, somewhat crooked and bound with gently glued together felt:

Well it isn't quite summertime yet, but the days around here have sure been hot enough!

                                                   All my best!

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Ginger Love (and a recipe for how to make sweet pickled ginger at home)

I am a ginger devotee. It is probably one of my most favorite ingredients to eat or cook with. At Japanese restaurants there is never enough pickled ginger on my plate and I am willing to endure the hollow, sour feeling in my stomach that comes free eating far too much pickled food in one seating. Oddly, I have never attempted to make my own pickled ginger. Today, however is a new day, and guess what, I made what will now most likely become a staple in my kitchen—pickled ginger! 

What brought it all to the forefront was a batch of fast pickled radishes I put together at the food truck yesterday. I was needing a little salad pizazz and had a small bin full of fresh pink radishes (I'll actually give you all that recipe another time, once I figure out the precise proportions to use.) Either way, yesterday evening I was too tired to bother with ginger but my mind was already running with ginger thoughts and laughing at the idea I had never before even tried to make my own fast pickled ginger. Well today it was my priority. Between biscuits and omelets, pies and ice tea, I shuffled aside some time for ginger experimentation. 

The result is utterly satisfying. After eight hours of soaking, the pickles are fantastic; bright, extremely potent, sweet and with a true bite. I will bet tomorrow and even the day after, they will have come to terms with their fate and settled down to a somewhat milder delivery of their pickled ginger charm. 


ginger, pickling, sweet pickled ginger, Japanese style pickled ginger

Pickled Ginger Recipe

First wash and peel your ginger then slice very thinly until you have about one cup. I used a peeler, but a cheese slicer could work as well. Be sure to follow the grain or the ginger will be rougher in texture. Also note, the ginger gets more stringy as it gets closer to the center so optimally just use the outer portion for this recipe. Place the ginger in a bowl and mix with the following ingredients and then let sit covered in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours: 
1+1/2 teaspoons sea salt
1/3 cup white sugar
1/2 cup rice vinegar
1 cup water

Please enjoy and let me know how they come out!


Saturday, April 23, 2016

Stealing Flowers (but only wih my eyes)

My husband's mama visited several weeks ago and oh how lovely it was to have her here with us. It is the one part of living so far away from where we grew up that really is hard—we miss everyone so extremely much!

During her visit we did manage quite a a lot of time together, which is miraculous 
considering how busy things have been.

Below are the pictures snapped during one of our pleasant walks...

Happy Spring Everyone!

                                                     Cheers ~

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Bits of so many days...

Yup, and that is the calm, picture perfect version : )

                                                                Cheers ~

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Astoria in Pictures...

  Catch up time.

This is the first slow day I’ve had in the truck in what seems like months
 although it has really only been the last six weeks. Sunshine and longer 
days bring people out of the woodwork, favorite customers, old regulars and 
many a new face.

I have so much to post in pictures and tidbits that I am undecided where to start. 
Maybe I’ll just try to collect some of my favorite images from these past months.

The following are from our day trip we took to Astoria several weeks back.
Astoria, Oregon towns, Rainbows in Oregon 

Astoria Oregon

                                     More pictures to come soon!

                                                     Cheers ~