Monday, April 12, 2010

spring fever, the jam report, and the fabric tornado

I've been hit hard this year by spring fever! I need to channel this energy in productive directions, so I've been working hard on getting my studio cleaned up and organized a bit. (I love it when I don't feel like I'm living in the midst of a fabric tornado.) But it's so gorgeous outside, I don't want to be inside working, or cleaning, or anything! These are the kind of impossibly and perfectly gorgeous days that I remember fondly in the dead of summer.

 poppies in our front yard : morning

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I've finally finished making jam from the flat of strawberries I bought last week (and since the price dropped again this weekend, it about killed me not to buy a second flat to have another go at it). For the first batch, I just made three jars as a test. I really, really overcooked it, so when all was said and done, it was more like gummy bears in a jar than jam, but edible to be sure. I think it might have some potential with sweet and spicy glazed meatballs.

Batch two was really undercooked and texturally challenged. I tried mashing the strawberries by hand instead of just putting them in the food processor, so I ended up with a few jars of thick strawberry juice with chunks of strawberries on top. I think this has excellent glazed meatball and glazed pork roast potential, but I don't think it qualifies as "spreadable" or "jam"... really it's more like a thin sauce with optional chunks.

After all of that, I was overjoyed with batch three. 

Batch 3 : success!

Oh, so much more successful, horray! I used the food processor, so the jam had an even consistency, and I just barely undercooked it this time, so while it's more saucy than jammy, it's still spreadable on toast. I love how bright red it is, and the taste.. mmmmmm. So strawberry-y!

 so delicious!

(The recipe I used is the beginner Strawberry Jam from this book. )

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Back in the fabric tornado, I've been working on some new patterns as I'm getting ready for FestForAll (May 1-2 in downtown Baton Rouge, right around the corner!). I'm dyeing up some linen in the new patterns, and I'll be boiling my first batch out this afternoon. I can't wait to see the final results!

a pile of linen yardage waxed in my new chevron pattern : ready to dye

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beki said...

I can't wait to see this!!! A few months ago I cut a lino to do a chevron stamp, but that's as far as I got.

5 o'clock crows (sara hopp harper) said...

I think I'm a little obsessed with chevrons! You should finish your stamp :)

April said...

I'm psyched that u made strawberry jam. I've been wanting to try doing that for years... maybe this is the year.