Yay! Books! I love books! If you’ve been around for awhile you might have noticed that. It’s because books are awesome, and I like sharing awesome books with all of you. I just finished reading my free review copy of The Made From Scratch Life, and I can’t wait to share some of the awesome stuff I learned with you. 🙂 One thing the book made me realize is it’s so incredibly easy to make jam. I know it’s silly, and many of you are probably veteran jam makers. However, I made my very first raspberry jam after being inspired by the book. How easy was it? Super easy!
Super Easy Raspberry Jam
I didn’t have any fresh berries when I first tried this out, but luckily for me (and maybe you) frozen raspberries work JUST FINE! Raspberry seeds have natural pectin in them (who knew!), so you don’t even need any pectin to make this jam. Seriously, all you need is raspberries and sugar.
Grab about five cups of raspberries, two cups of sugar and dump them in a pot. Smash up the raspberries, turn on the heat, and stir it together for about twenty minutes. Spoon it into a jar, let it cool, and keep it in the fridge.
The jam thickens as it cools, and then it’s delicious as jam, as sauce over ice cream, and in other jammy sort of application you might have in mind. Yeah, you could get a lot fancier, and that would be a ton of fun. However, it’s quite mind blowing for me as a non-jam maker just how easy it can be.
The Made From Scratch Life goes into a lot more detail, if you’re a detail loving sort of person. So keep reading to learn a little more about it!
The Made From Scratch Life Book Review
Okay, this is really silly, but so many of the books I have reviewed lately have been in PDF form, and I got this one in paperback and it was so seriously exciting. I want to make little notes in the margins. Yay, paper! I tend to pass on my books once I’m done reading them, but I think I’m going to hang onto this one for a bit, at least until I have some recipes memorized and jam-making down. (If you do want the e-book, that’s available too!)
Another kind of silly thing is that I didn’t realize that the author, Melissa K. Norris, is also in the Pacific Northwest. So that was cool to discover. We’re like neighbors! Sorta.
I really enjoyed the way Melissa wove together bits of stories from her life and homesteading and then used those to pass along the knowledge. It draws you in and you get engaged in the story which is refreshing, especially if you were expecting more of a “how-to” style. It’s also nice to know that I’m not the only one running around chasing chickens in my pajamas.
What’s In The Book?
There are eight sections to the book, and you can see the table of contents and the beginning on Amazon. By far my favorite sections were Preserve and Cook. I’ve always kind of turned up my nose at canning. It seemed like a lot of work to home can something that I could just chuck in my grocery cart, but after reading that chapter I’m super excited to try making jam for the first time. There are some yummy looking recipes in there such as Red Raspberry and Currant Jelly. There are currants growing on the bike path near my home, and I have a raspberry patch next to the driveway, so this is so happening later this summer. Like I said earlier, the thing that intrigues me about the jam recipes the most is that they don’t call for store bought pectin. I had no idea you could utilize naturally occurring pectin in certain fruit. It’s so. very. cool.
Helloooooooo Caramel Frosting!
The chapter on cooking was also motivating for me. I have my same old (boring to me) recipes that I make, but here’s a collection of yummy sounding things I’ve never tried before. Ham and bean soup? Sounds good. Grandma’s Chocolate Mayo Cake? Once you read the recipe it sounds awesome. Caramel frosting? YES PLEASE!
The one thing I will say, is if you are an anti-religion person this probably isn’t the book for you. If you don’t mind seeing spirituality in day to day living (I don’t), and maybe are looking for a reminder on seeing the Divine in the mundane then this IS the book for you.
Melissa doesn’t know me, but after reading her book I feel like I know her. It’s a nice feeling, like I have a new friend, one who understands why I chase chickens around the yard, make my own cleaners, cook bone broth in the crock pot, and have a loaf of bread in the oven. Not everyone “get’s it.” But she does.
(And yeah, I am so making that caramel frosting, like, tomorrow.)
Thinking About Getting Chickens?
Get ready with the free email course, Intro to Backyard Chickens. The course also includes a free, printable checklist to walk you through step by step!