Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Cooking and a Giveaway!

I am totally NOT a cooking person. I admire my friends that cook, but it's not me. I have purchased new non-stick skillets one time because my original pans got ruined when someone used metal turner in it...more than once. I still have the same cookie sheets that I had when I got married. Every now and then I'll eye up new dinnerware sets, but since they don't see much in the way of amazing food, I feel bad about even thinking about it!

But yesterday, I put my hand to cooking. Because we finally had a nice day here (and by nice I mean, not oppressively hot), I decided to take the kids out blueberry picking. The girls and I went once this season and in an hour, the three of us were able to pick one and a half gallons of blueberries. Yesterday, with five of us, we were able to get less than one gallon. But even so, we had a lot of fun. We had to look a little harder to find the berries and they were much, much smaller, but they were still sweet and delicious.

Last time we picked blueberries, I did what I normally do, which is to just eat them plain. Nothing quite beats a big bowl of fresh blueberries for a snack in my mind! I froze a few, made blueberry pancakes with blueberry syrup, gave away a few, but mostly just ate them, handfuls at a time. But this time I decided to try something I've never done before. I was going to make some jam.

I admit, I didn't have high hopes. I had pulled up two different recipes which were slightly different and I didn't quite get all of my ratios correct, so I figured I was going to end up with really soupy jam. Everything said to skim off the foam and I had almost no foam on the top, so I took that as evidence that it was not going to work.

I did all of the stuff and set my jars aside for the 24 hours. Except that about an hour later, I couldn't stand it any more and shook a jar to see if it was setting up. And incredibly, it was! So about twenty minutes later, I went ahead and opened up the jar that was only half full (or half empty?) and stuck in a spoon. And ate the Most Delicious Jam Ever (tm). Okay, so maybe not, but it was good. And we made it (the we is Christopher and me -- he helped me crush up the berries and stir in the sugar). So I had eggs with toast and jam last night. And it was G-E-W-D, gewd.

A couple more of these moments and I might actually want to start cooking for real and I might have to pick up that new dinnerware!

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The lovely folks over at CSN stores have graciously offered a $40 gift certificate to one of their over 200 online stores to one of my lucky readers! To enter, you must comment. You can earn several entries into this contest, but you must put in a separate comment for each thing you do. This contest is open to residents of the United States and Canada until 12pm ET, August 6, 2010. Good luck!

  1. Go over to CSN Stores and let me know what item you'll buy with your gift card!
  2. Like CSN Stores over on Facebook.
  3. Become a follower of this blog (if you already follow, that counts, just leave a comment!).
  4. Follow me over on Twitter.
  5. Retweet the following (be sure to include the link): Win a $40 gift card to @CSNStores from @BigMama247! Click for details on how to win! http://tinyurl.com/275qk2k
  6. Post a link to this contest on your blog or Facebook page. http://tinyurl.com/275qk2k
Thanks for your participation! Good luck!

The prize for this contest is being supplied by CSN Stores. I receive no compensation from this contest -- just the undying adoration of my readers for the opportunity to win!
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I'm a wife to an amazing man, and mom to four incredible kids. I'm a Christian woman who sometimes struggles with doubt. I'm a musician and a writer who is sometimes afraid to play and write. I'm trying to be more authentic every day.
 
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