Friday, July 11, 2014

Blueberries

 

Do you have fresh blueberries and don’t know what to do with them?  But want something easy that doesn’t need a recipe?

Check these ideas out:

blueberry-nrrn

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Freezer Strawberry Jam

Strawberry Jam with Homemade Biscuit

Strawberry Jam with Homemade Biscuit

 

Homemade Freezer Strawberry Jam

It’s strange, but the older I get the more I forget everyday things, but remember childhood memories.   Making freezer jam with my Gramma Verschor (we called her Ma) is one of those memories.   I was reading a facebook post about “You Pick Blueberries” and the strawberry jam memory came to me.   Don’t ask me why.   I am just grateful for the memory.    I don’t have a lot of hand written recipes from Ma, but I managed to find this one my Mom gave me.

 

 

For a short period we lived next door to my grandparents. And they grew a lot of things. (Including snails….. yes, you heard me snails… guess you wouldn’t call them growing, maybe raising is more like it. )  But they had their own little plot and Ma would go out and harvest them now and then. She would boil them, and my Grandfather (Pa) would pull them out with a crochet hook and eat them. EWWWWWWWWW! This is a story for a different post.

 

 

Anyway, they had a small patch of strawberries. This was covered with a homemade “blanket” of weaved rope to keep the birds from getting them before Ma could pick them. Hey! It worked.

 

 

Then I would help her make the jam. I have to admit, at the time, I didn’t like helping out.   I would rather be on my bike riding as far as I wanted to.
But my Mom made me do it. Even tho I really didn’t want to be there, I knew something was special just being with Ma.   And now I have a memory of it.

   

Before I post the recipe..  a little about the above picture.  YOU CAN DO THIS.  This is a homemade biscuit (you can buy them and get the same effect).  Whipped cream and jam. The “dripping” effect of the whipped cream is from it sitting and getting room temperature.

   

That’s it.  This is a perfect “IMPRESS THE HECK”   out of someone for breakfast, brunch or treat.    Give me some time and I will find the recipe I used for the homemade biscuit.  I am not really very organized.  I got it on line sometime somewhere.  But can’t find it now.

    

Easy Easy Strawberry Jam

   

Ingredients
1 pt fresh strawberries, washed, drained and hulls removed
2 1/2 Cups fresh pineapple, peeled and finely chopped
7 Cups sugar
2 pkgs (1 3/4 oz) powdered pectin
1 Cup cold water
4 pt freezer containers with lids

   

Directions
 
Place strawberries in a large mixing bowl.
 
Crush the strawberries with a potato masher.
 
Measure out 2 1/2 C strawberries and place in a separate bowl.
 
Add the pineapple to the strawberries.
 
Slowly add the sugar and stir until well combined.
 
Place the cold water in a saucepan over medium heat.
 
Add the pectin.
 
Stir continuously until water begins to boil.
 
Boil 1 minute.
 
Remove from heat.
 
Pour the water mixture into with the fruit.
 
Stir well to combine.
 
Continue stirring 4 minutes.
 
Pour into the pt freezer containers and cover.
 
Let stand at room temperature for 24 hours.
 
Freeze after 24 hours.
 
Jam will stay good in the freezer for up to 6 months.
  
To use, remove from freezer and allow to come to room temperature, about 1 hour.
 
Cover and refrigerate for up to 3 weeks.

You can get the containers here:

                               


  This is an Amazon Affiliate link, and when purchases are made through this link, I do get a small commission.
But these jars are readily available in your grocery stores.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Certified Coffee in Australia

How To Go Green: 3 Tips For Buying Certified Coffee In Australia

The International Trade Center notes that ‘coffee is the world’s most important agricultural crop in terms of trade volumes; it is exported by 60 countries and is one of the few major commodities grown predominantly by smallholder farmers’. Due to the rise in environmentally responsible coffee, it is possible to actually lower your carbon footprint and ‘go green’ by looking out for ‘certified’ coffee. Certification schemes aim to prevent farmers from using ‘slash and burn’ techniques that level rainforests for the purpose of clearing land and growing coffee beans. Here are three tips for buying ‘greener’ coffee in Australia.

 

 

Use A Green Business Directory


It’s easy to pick up certified coffee such as Fair Trade-branded coffee in your local supermarket or grocery store. According the Queensland government’s Office of Fair Trading, however, certified coffee is often sold at a significant mark-up. In other words, you can end up spending significantly more for store-bought coffee just because of its certification label. To avoid this, you could use a green business directory to help you find which stores sell certified coffee at a fair price. In Australia, the Greenfinder Green Business Directory has ‘the most comprehensive selection of green, eco, sustainable, Fair Trade and environmentally friendly companies, products and services’. Use this or similar eco directories to find stores that give you a good deal on certified brands of coffee.

 

 

Look For A Trusted, Certified Coffee Logo


According to an International Trade Center publication Trends in the Trade of Certified Coffees, the quantity of certified coffee sold in Australia has ‘increased rapidly at 50 percent per year in recent years’. The ITC notes that finding certified coffee is as easy as looking for logos, even on brand name coffee products. For instance, Rainforest Alliance has a memorable green frog on its logo, prominently displayed on the label of any coffee containing certified beans. The ITC points out that the commitment of multinational companies such as Nestle to ‘certify 80 percent of its coffee with the Rainforest Alliance by 2013’ has contributed to much of the growth of certified coffee brands. If you are already buying brand-name coffee such as Nestle, you may already be drinking certified coffee.

 

 

Shop Online
             According to data from the Sustainable Agriculture Network, the bestdeals on certified coffee are to be found online. Buying certified coffee ensures that your money helps ‘stave off deforestation, protect the habitats of birds, preserve the livelihood of coffee farmers and encourage social equity and economic viability for workers’ according to the SAN. The cheapest way to do all this and more is to buy coffee online. Be sure to look for coffee websites who offer certified brands of coffee such as Rainforest Alliance coffee.

 

 

Conclusion
                                      Buying certified coffee can help the world but it doesn’t have to cost the earth. These three tips should help anyone find certified coffee in Australia for the right price. Whether you are buying coffee for yourself, for a business or for your family, following these tips should help you find the greenest brands at the most reasonable prices. What do you think of our tips? What did we miss? Let us know in the comments section below!

 

Author Bio:    Danny Richards, the author of this article, is an employee at MyCuppa.com.au, online suppliers of fine coffee beans in Australia. In his spare time, Danny loves reading and is a massive fan of Stephen King.

 

Featured images:
  •  License: Creative Commons image source
  •  License: Creative Commons image source
  •  License: Royalty Free or iStock source: http://pixabay.com/en/coffee-cup-coffee-beans-coffee-cup-171653/
  •  License: Royalty Free or iStock source: http://pixabay.com/en/coffee-bean-coffee-aroma-caffeine-156527/

 

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