Monday, September 26, 2011

Simple pleasures

I don't think I've mentioned in awhile that we have been members of a community garden for the past 4 summers. There are many things we like about being part of the garden, but one of the added benefits is that there are a few crops that are planted for the enjoyment of all members. We harvested plenty of community rhubarb earlier in the season, but have most taken advantage of the raspberry bushes. I admit raspberries are not my personal favorite, but Eric and the kids love them, and they bring home a cup or two each time they stop by the garden.

Over the weekend, I was looking for a seasoning packet in my kitchen, and I came across a free sample of this pectin I recently received in the mail. Because the sample size only required a little more than a cup of fruit, I asked the troops to pick some more raspberries so I could turn them into jam. They were more than happy to oblige, and making the jam took just 5 minutes. I was thrilled, as I normally make two big batches of strawberry jam each June, and of course those berries take longer to prep because of their stems.

Inspired by the quick and nearly-free jam (two half-pint jars required one cup of sugar, which costs about 10 cents!), I decided to make some homemade bread to go with it. Even though Eric is a huge fan of homemade bread, I confess I have not made it in probably two years! I make quick bread or muffins every week, but somehow making our beloved oatmeal bread has fallen by the wayside.

Enjoying a warm slice of fresh-baked bread with a thick layer of raspberry jam was a wonderful, unplanned treat for us this weekend.

And speaking of bread and jam, I was thrilled to come across a 50-cent copy of one of my favorite childhood books last week in a thrift store. Reading it aloud to my own kids has been another simple pleasure!


Wendi said...

That is a great book!

Mom said...

Homemade raspberry jam and bread -- sounds delicious! And I wonder how many times I've read that book aloud??? Enjoy! Love you, Mom

thehomespunheart said...

Love that! And, the book of course!

Um, I'm wondering where on earth you are buying sugar for ten cents a cup?!? Seriously?! That's one great deal!

I'm averaging 0.25-0.30 per cup of sugar so that's why I'm curious!

Katie said...

Good for you for making jam!! I confess that I bought some pectin years ago, and I've never made the attempt because I guess I thought there was a lot involved. 5 minutes!?!? Wow!

I thought for sure you were going to link to "Bread and Jam for Frances" (one of my childhood faves!)...but now I'm looking forward to checking out a new book ~ I've never heard of that one!

Have a great weekend!

CK N said...

Carrie, I love the idea of community gardens, but the one in a nearby town causes me no end of frustration. We have our own garden out here on the farm, but we always end up seeing the community garden because it's near a place my husband hunts. And it makes me so sad! You see, people in that community have done a great job of planting and caring for their produce, but they don't use it. I've never once seen anyone there picking it and taking it home. There are dozens of plots with vegetables just rotting away. I want to say, "Turn me loose! I'll freeze the tomatoes if you don't want them!" I HATE to see fresh food wasted, because my brother and sister-in-law and nephew live and work in a country where people are so, so poor. And malnourished. So good for you for using produce from your community garden! And I've got to find a way to see if we can get local food pantries involved in using some of those vegetables! There's my soapbox for the day . . .

Carrie said...

Simple pleasures are best!

I'm intrigued by the concept of the community garden. We have them spread out all over town and I've wondered how they work. If you ever feel up to doing a post on that, I'd be curious to learn more about them!