I browse through the home and decorating magazines at Barnes and Noble and admire the elegant dinner parties featured. I save boards full of lovely entertaining pins on Pinterest. I love looking at the elegant table settings on Instagram and various blogs. I sigh and think about how much fun it would be to host some of those parties for a dozen friends or more. But then I look around at our lived-in farmhouse and know that at least for now, that just isn't going to happen. So I have decided to start gathering people together here in a way that does match this century-old farmhouse and our little hobby farm and do some of the things most of our ancestors did here in the Appalachian Mountains 100 or more years ago...with a twist.
I decided to invite some school mom friends over for a dessert wine/liqueur-tasting and freezer jam making party. While wild thunder storms raged outside our walls, we ladies were safe and dry inside sipping Moscato, mashing strawberries, and swapping school stories.
Freezer jam is super easy to make, and you can use any berries in season---or peaches if you add some lemon juice.
For a double batch, you just need to remove the stems of one and a half pint-sized containers of berries. Then mash them with a potato masher. They should be chunky. This equals approximately 3 1/3 cups of mashed berries.
After that, all you need is 1 1/4 cups of sugar and 4 Tablespoons of instant pectin added in. Stir for three minutes, and pour into your freezer containers. Within thirty minutes, the jam is set.
A double batch fills five half-pint containers. You can store it in your refrigerator for three weeks or in your freezer for a year. This just doesn't get any easier, and the jam is full of color and flavor and nothing like what you get in the grocery store.
Bringing friends together over some snacks, desserts, and wine or Stoli vanilla vodka makes this homemaking task fun, and before you know it, hours have passed by. You get to share this amazing jam with your family, and they'll never know that it was so effortless and so much fun to make.
I do believe this will be an annual event at the Preppy Mountain Farmhouse.