Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Farm Fresh

Yesterday we took the kids to Oak Glen to do some apple picking. We were amped up and ready to go even though it would be an hour-long drive (each way) and was set to be a warm day. But we were up for an adventure and the farm was calling. Turns out, due to a wacky series of events and driving around...let's just say website info failed us, we ended up at Snow Line Orchards. It was a bit off the beaten path but it was one of few farms open yesterday and though their apple crop had been all but picked over, we were able to pick raspberries. And we happily obliged. We didn't really care what we got to pick, half the fun was being in a new environment doing something fun and different as a family. The fresh mountain air, cool breezes and sweet, tangy raspberries left us wishing we could make the trek more often. I urge you to visit a local farm, if possible. It allows kids to see where food really comes from and get a taste of fresh fruit. It does taste better! After about an hour of picking, and three basketfuls of the delicious fruit, we were ready to call it a day. But first, we had to visit the gift shop, purchase some apples and take some pictures!
The only thing that could make the day better? An In N Out lunch, of course. No family outing is complete without a visit to our favorite burger haven. As good as lunch was, the whole way home, we couldn't keep our hands off the berries. Sun kissed and fresh, without a trace of pesticides or preservatives, they were the perfect treat for the ride home. I decided I had just enough for a batch of raspberry jam and got working right away. I researched different ways to make it and while most called for simply the berries and sugar, I wanted a thicker jam, more of a spreadable jelly. My kids and I love us some PB&J, so it had to be perfect! So here's what I came up with: For three baskets of berries, (minus what we devoured during the drive!) I put them in a pot on low and added four tablespoons sugar (just enough to cut against the tart..) and sieved about half the amount so there weren't sooo many seeds. Once the berries broke down, I let them cool then added a packet of powdered gelatin and refrigerated overnight and it was ready to enjoy this morning! If you are vegetarian or simply don't want to use the gelatin, increase the sugar to about half a cup and allow to simmer longer, so the jam is thickened that way. It will result in a thinner jam, but will be yummy nonetheless!

1 comment:

  1. I make jam every week or so for St. Jack. We use apple pectin to thicken our jam, so feel free to try that sometime, too.