I have a knack for passing time. For keeping myself busy in my own little corner of the house. For spending all day in the kitchen. Creating unnecessary to-do lists. And missing out on opportunities I didn’t know I had. You learn this about yourself when you move. The last 3 weeks of life in Chicago were filled to the brim. Every last meal, every last moment, spent with friends. I lived more in those 3 weeks than I did in our 4 years there. Some people say live with no regrets. I say learn from your mistakes. Read more

The secret to making jam without commercial pectin is to add lemon juice and a cut-up apple to your jam pot (and you may need to cook it a bit longer). Both fruits have naturally-occurring pectin, which serves to help solidify your jam. For example, proportions for a small small batch of strawberry jam could be: three cups of berries,1 1/2 cups sugar (or honey), juice from half a lemon and half a cut-up apple.

—Nicole, Cucina Nicolina

Flash freeze fresh berries before using in baked treats such as scones, muffins, or quick breads. This keeps them from bursting while working with the dough. To do so, wash, dry, cut, and freeze berries flat on a baking sheet 2-3 hours before using.

 
 
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