April 2011 - Trails of Hats'n Hospitalitea

Archive for April, 2011

Having plenty of Strawberry Jam on hand for the Bed and Breakfast and Afternoon Tea in the Tea Room means putting berries up in the freezer sometimes. We have a small strawberry field and each year I take berries from that, crush and measure out the right amount for a batch of jam, bag it and freeze it.

The Cream Tea at the Tea Room is a pot of tea, fresh baked scones, strawberry jam, cream and butter, yum.

tea, scone, cream, jam, butter


Not all the berries get into the freezer just some of them remember.

bowl of berries

When taken from the freezer they are perfect for making strawberry jam, or desserts.

strawberries before boiling


I always boil the jars and lids, some people put them through the dish washer or put them in the oven to heat them but they need to be sterilized.


This is strawberry foam, it comes from boiling too hard.  It is full of air and I like to remove it after boiling the jam and just before I’m about to jar it.  The French gardener will sneak in and gobble this up, but I think it tastes like strawberry air so I’ll let him have the calories.

foam from boiling the berries

Filling the jars of jam within 1/4 inch head space before processing.

jars of jam
This is the step that is important the processing step.  Taking the filled jars, returning them to boiling water, 2 inches above the jars and returning to a boil for 5 minutes.  This is done to force any air out of the jar, leaving you with less spoilage.

processing jars

This is the length of time I leave my jars in processing and they are 250 ml jars.

Next time I make jam I’m going to put the strawberries through this food mill I have and see if I can reduce the amount of seeds in the jam.

As a child growing up I don’t recall ever using this method of processing.  Maybe we did, however if we did I wouldn’t have remembered such terms as, “cast iron stomachs” or “that is just mother, and you can go fetch me a spoon and I’ll just scoop it off and the jam is as good as gold.”

Mother on the Jam

mother on the jam


This sort of takes the taste away for jam doesn’t it?  Well I’m going somewhere with this, give me a chance. For years I have taken the Safety Food Handling Course put on the government FREE, however this course cost plenty to other provinces.  Find out about the next food safety course May 3 and 10th. It is a 2 part course put on by the government and environmental health department – For more information contact Environmental Health at 368-4970

At the end of the course you receive a certificate.

Food Safety Course Certificate

What a rainy day we are having today, a good time to get caught up on those last minute things before the almighty deadline of May 1st, when the Tea Room officially opens.

Take care,


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Work before play is our rule and so we hurried up and tossed about the yard, scurrying here and there and getting things moved around, taken out, picking up.  The work wasn’t done but we were due for a little time for us, quiet time, a time to reflect, and remember.  THE BEACH! here we come, we have beachcombers fever? I know your saying what’s that?  Well it is the thoughts or run ons your mind spends in between doing odd jobs that you daydream about what else you could be doing instead, and then you just do it.

Here is the beach


Here are the treasures

Cobalt Blue and diamond shaped as well

Beach Glass

This is what becomes of the little sea treasures found on the beach

beach glass silver wrapped

A day at the beach means Beach Combing to me not sun bathing.  What do you do at the beach? Are you a comber or a sitter?

Rain for the next 3 days, sugar.


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