Archive for the ‘cooking’ Category

A new batch of jam

Ever since I decided to learn to make jam, I can’t seem to get enough of it. It’s an easy thing to do, thankfully, and it’s a useful skill to have. I like to buy food as cheaply as I can while still maintaining quality, so when fruit is cheap, I now don’t have to worry quite so much about not eating it all before it goes bad. Whatever I don’t eat can be made into jam.


This is a batch of blackberry-raspberry jam. I actually made three jars of this, but I gave one of them away as a gift.

So far I’ve been using recipes that don’t involve cooking. These kinds of jams stay good in the fridge for about 3 weeks, or can be frozen for up to 6 months. The difference between this and cooked jams is that cooked jams can stay good for up to a year without refrigeration so long as the jar is sealed properly. But I don’t have any need to store jam for that long, so I haven’t tried a cooked jam recipe yet.

Storebought jam is nice enough, but now that I’ve made it myself, I think I prefer homemade jam. Since all that’s really in it is fruit, pectin, and sugar, you can really taste the fruit, and the more simple flavour is far better than the chemical-laden stuff I can find on grocery store shelves. I think that so long as I can make jam, I will.

Categories: cooking


A friend and I found a great sale on strawberries not too long ago. 3 packages for $5. We bought 6 packages, and some pectin since I’ve always wanted to try making jam.


I used a no-cook strawberry jam recipe that was very simple, if tiring on my arms because of all the mashing and mixing. We used only thr strawberries that were started to go soft. No moldy, but a little too dark and soft to be enjoyable to eat anymore. We still have lots of strawberries left, too, to snack on and perhaps to make more jam to give to friends as gifts.

Each mason jar holds about 2 cups worth of jam, and we had a little left over so we just added it to another container for now. I suspect I’ll eat from that one first. No-cook jams don’t stay good for very long, though (about 3 weeks if you don’t freeze them), so we’ll have to eat this all up quickly or else give a jar away to other friends, so that this doesn’t go to waste.

It was a lot of fun to make, though, and I look forward to trying more jam recipes in the future!

Categories: cooking

Enchanting Geisha progress #2


The hair’s much further along now than it was before (there’s more than twice the amount of black than there was in the first post that I made about this pattern), and there’s some definition in the face, too, which I did to give me a little bit of a break from all the black that I was working with.

That’s the fun thing about cross-stitch. You may be making the same stitches over and over, but after half an hour or so, you can always see that you’ve made progress!

I’m going away for a day, to a cabin in the middle of the woods, so hopefully when I get back I’ll have managed to complete a little more to show.

Categories: cooking

Japanese dinner

The other day, I decided to make some Japanese food for dinner. I didn’t get to make all that I wanted, because I was sick and couldn’t quite find all the ingredients that I needed, but what I did make turned out pretty well.


15 onigiri, stuffed with smoked salmon. The back 5 have a sprinkling of sesame seeds on them. These are the best onigiri I’ve made so far (I made some in the past), but I think they still need some improvement. I need to find a better way to balance the filling with the rice; there’s always too little of one and too much of the other!


The round things on the left are korokke, with potatoes, ground beef, and onion inside. These turned out best of all, I think, and there were a lot left over. Good thing they’re still tasty when they’re cold!

On the left, the things on sticks are tsukune, which is ground chicken on skewers. These were good, but not asgood as they could have been, because I didn’t chop the onions finely enough. At least I know for next time!


A steaming bowl of tofu miso soup. I didn’t make this from scratch, but rather it came out of a packet. It’s still good, though. I used to eat this stuff all the time shortly after high school, so the taste of it brought back many memories.

Next time, i want to try making kinpira, and maybe tamago no tarakabukuro, because they look so tasty!

Categories: cooking