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!