Tuesday, July 2, 2013

...Not so Lazy Days of Summer

I am fortunate to have a career that I absolutely love.  And I am even more blessed that this career allows me to spend so much time at home with H and L.  But I'm not going to lie, summer days can sometimes feel really long.  I've been working on finding a balance in keeping us in a somewhat of a routine (because that's how my kids thrive) while trying to stay busy outside of the house.  With the big move coming in a few weeks, we'll be spending a lot of time getting unpacked and set up in our new digs, so I'm trying to make the most of this little bit of calm before the storm.

On Friday, I was skimming Facebook, and saw pictures of a friend who had taken her daughter strawberry picking.  And ala Phineas and Ferb, I told H, "H!  I know what we're going to do today!"  We had been to Stades several years ago to pick pumpkins, so I knew where I was going.  After swim lessons, I fed, bathed, and loaded H and L up and we headed Stades.

H finding the perfect berry

L ate her way through the field
A little dirt never hurt anybody

After a few hours of overwhelmingly cute berry picking, we returned home with a little over 7 pounds of strawberries.  What to do?  What to do?  I did some research and decided we'd make jam.  So the next day when L was napping, H and I set to work.

H - the strawberry hulling machine

Mashing berries

Pot-stirring selfie
Truth time:  I've never made jam.  And I couldn't find the freezer kind of pectin.  And I didn't really want chemicals in the jam because I've become kind of crazy like that.  So I used a recipe that just called for sugar and lemon juice.  And we really made more of a strawberry sauce than a strawberry jam.  But darn it, it's going to be so good on pancakes and ice cream and angel food cake!  Or toast.  A little will go a long way!  

We've got 8 of these little guys
7 in the freezer for later

 After all that, our strawberry supply hadn't been depleted.  So we made popsicles.  H got to be the creative genius behind the lemon juice, strawberry, banana, and orange juice popsicles.

The smoothie popsicle man
All that strawberry hulling didn't go so well for the Captain America shirt
What do you do to stay busy on these not so "lazy days of summer"?



  1. Did the kids like berry picking? I mean, they sure look cute in the pictures :) But for some reason, I always HATED doing it when I was a kid! Maybe it felt like my mom was just putting us to work?

    Now that I know about this jam, I'm thinking maybe brownies (black bean, obvi) + ice cream + jam might be a good dessert tomorrow. Yes?

    1. They loved it! H for the act of picking - a place for his OCD/anal retentive tendencies to really shine while finding the most perfect berries in the field. L for the all you can eat strawberry buffet and the basket as an accessory. She didn't really feel the need to discriminate between the berry and the stem, so she just ate the whole thing. A better mom might be concerned.

      Brownies sound delicious! Want me to pick up the ice cream so you don't have to travel with it?

  2. Cute! I've had this on our "we should do that" list. But haven't yet. It looks like y'all had fun! The one place I knew of is in NW Indiana. It seems like a hike.

    Also, do you love your CSA boxes? Would you do it again next year? I thought about doing it this year but then decided I love Saturday morning Famer's Markets and can just get fresh fruits and veggies there. But I like the idea of it just showing up on our doorstop and being forced to try things I wouldn't buy on my own...