Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Strawberry state of mind
I've already started this year's canning escapades with 6 jelly jars of Strawberry Jam. I love the little labels I've made up but have noticed it's taking nearly as much time to create, print, cut and position the darling things as it was to make the jam. This time I smarted myself up a bit and made up labels with blank canning dates for more Strawberry Jam since I know I will be making a lot more in the very near future.
We're in a high-production strawberry state. While most of the berries sold around here have been coming out of Plant City (a place outside my 100 mile diet circumfrence) they're still pretty darn close. I'm researching u-pick places that fall within it but none are open this time of year and so far, I haven't been able to locate a farm closer that has the production levels Plant City has. I'm working on it though.
I've been allowing my brain to be more concious to what we eat, where it hails from and how it got to us. A lot of it is getting away from prepackaged foods and produce that has to be trucked in from thousands of miles away. This means eliminating things from our diet we've grown used to eating. Somethings though, I'm not sure I'll be able to do without -coffee for starters. There are a few pretty good sized CSA's in the area (community support agriculture) which have been calling my name. I think part of my grocery budget for February will be obtaining a membership somewhere.
Making the switch from the abundance of convenience city life provided to the limited seclusion of the country has been hard for me. I'm detoxing. I can feel it. My body aches for trips to the store, Starbucks and easily obtainable day trips to cultural centers. I haven't really made any friends out here which adds to my rural depression. It's not bad, just a change.
Part of the solution is to keep busy. The strawberry jam has new friends in a jar of Almond butter and a few loaves of homemade whole wheat bread. I'm learning to rely on myself to make the things I would normally have hopped into the car to go "grab" from the store. I can now make real cheese crackers for a fraction of the price of cheddar bunnies or goldfish. I think I'm going to try fruit leather with the next batch of Strawberries I pick up from the farmer's market tomorrow.
All in all, while the changes are literally life-changing, I'm comfortable with the progression and happy with my ability to see where the problems lie and actively work to make those changes. Plus, the Jam is to die for.