Fast forward 5 years later, now I OWN the tiniest kitchen ever. If it wasn't for the rest of the house being dreamy and retro I would have left this building in the dust and in fact I think that's why most people passed on this house. For starters all the cabinets are crap brown. My biggest beef is that there is NO DISHWASHER! **sigh...** And the obvious pitfall is that my kitchen is the size of a closet. Apparently the original owner of the house used it as a vacation home so no need for anything glamorous. As she aged and finally settled into the house as her permanent residence she wasn't really cooking meals for anyone but herself. Maybe that explains the 12 bottles of chilled ensure nutritional shakes left in the fridge as a housewarming present, LUCKY US!
It has been an adjustment cooking in such a small space. The only thing that helps is dreaming of my future kitchen renovation. Do I really need that new outfit? That could pay for a tile upgrade or contribute to my dream appliance fund. Surprisingly the first week of moving in I was canning up a storm. It was more out of necessity rather than desire. We started the long process of moving all of our worldly possessions in the middle of August (it was so fricken HOT!) which is prime time for seasonal produce. Fruits and veggies wait for no one. One the plus side we have a huge basement with a semi-kitchen set up down there. Pretty much anything that isn't used on a daily basis lives down there much to Nathan's disappointment "I have to walk all the way down there? Uggggh!" One of the best jams that came out of this whole move was partially fueled by my need to use up odds and ends in our apartment freezer. I had been hoarding frozen cranberries from fall 2016 that needed to be used ASAP. I made a mixed berry jam from my favorite canning blogger Marisa McClellan at foodinjars.com along with some additional strawberry jam and ginger plum.
What I love about the mixed berry jam is that it's so EASY to make. I mostly used frozen berries that I had in my freezer and supplemented with some extra berries kicking around my fridge. It's a really pretty color and would ideally make some great future gifts.
Holiday Berry Jam from Food in Jars
- 24 ounces frozen raspberries
- 12 ounces frozen strawberries
- 12 ounces frozen blueberries
- 8 ounces fresh cranberries
- 3 cups sugar
- Prepare a boiling water bath canner and enough jars to hold six half pints of product.
- Combine the berries and sugar in a large, non-reactive pot. Stir to combine. Let sit for 30 minutes or so, until the berries are mostly defrosted.
- Place the pot on the stove over high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-high and cook, stirring regularly, until the jam thickens. This should take between 20 and 25 minutes. Because of the presence of the cranberries, this jam will pass the sheet test on a spatula.
- When the jam is finished, remove the pot from the heat.
- Funnel the jam into the prepared jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace.
- Wipe the rims, apply the lids and rings, and process in a boiling water bath canner for 10 minutes.
- When the time is up, remove the jars and set them on a folded kitchen towel to cool. When the jars have cooled enough that you can comfortable handle them, check the seals. Sealed jars can be stored at room temperature for up to a year. Any unsealed jars should be refrigerated and used promptly.