Lost-in-Translation Strawberry Jam

When berry picking last weekend, our eyes were bigger than our stomachs. With our overstock of berries, I decided to make strawberry jam for the first time.

One problem. They don’t sell pectin by itself here in German grocery stores. It comes mixed with sugar, so none of my American cookbooks would help me much.

Another problem. The recipes on the back of the sugar/ pectin packages required a metric scale, which I didn’t feel like buying. Problem #3 since the pectin and sugar are mixed together in a proportion I couldn’t decipher, I couldn’t very well figure out how to control the sweetness factor, which is a big thing for me. Too much sugar drowns the flavor, I think.

And finally, I have no canner or Mason jars, no space to store them, and even if I did, they don’t sell them here. Or so I’ve heard.

So, I decided to wing it with my own made up version of freezer jam, tasting and hoping it would all turn out.

Luckily it seems to have worked. Sorry I can’t share a recipe, since I didn’t measure anything. It involved berries, sugar/pectin, lemon zest, and lemon juice.

In other news, I did a double-take when I encountered this under my computer desk:

Aaagh! Then I realized it was just a scrap from a current sewing project. It’s almost like I did it on purpose, right?

Tomorrow the European chapter of the Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) is doing a cool bloggy thing. Members across Europe (including me) have signed up here, where we’ll be sharing sketches and scribbles all day. It’s called the Summer Solstice Scrawl Crawl. Check it out.

Also, check out this totally simple but genius craft (below) at Holly Ramer’s stitch/craft. Perfect for keeping the kids entertained while traveling this summer. Why didn’t I think of this?

A Dangerous Combo

Maybe I’m a party pooper, but regular Nutella is just too sweet for me. I figured there had to be a dark chocolate alternative, and sure enough, I found “Samba Dark”—-not Nutella brand but very similar. By accident I spread it on my bread with a knife that still had a smidgen of raspberry jam on it. Oh my! What bliss! What a dangerously easy indulgence! I can’t be the first person who’s tried this, but still, I feel rather brilliant about the discovery. It reminds me of those old commericals for Reese’s where Frankenstein accidentally mixes peanut butter and chocolate together.

Don’t know if you can find dark Nutella-like stuff in the states. I may have to get a case of it for the container before our assignment in Germany ends. Luckily I have awhile to figure that out.

Still reading Julia Child’s My Life in France—-although the section I’m reading currently is about her life in Germany. Sehr interessant.