Strawberry Ways


This week has flown by for me. On Monday I had my first jam-making experience. Before that, however, Gabe’s roommate Sheena and I visited Tait Farm to pick up some herbs. We have quite the potted herb garden going on at their house at this point. I purchased mint, lavender, hot and spicy oregano and french terragon. I’ll be taking the mint to my kitchen after I get home from the weekend. It smells awesome. Tait Farm is super cute. It’s along 322 heading east away from State College. They raise basset hounds and also have a nice farm shop where you can purchase decor, plants, flowers, soup and dip mixes, honey and plenty more.

After, we headed home to make some strawberry jam and thanks to their neighbor, we even made some strawberry rhubarb jam too! While the process is quite a bit more detailed then what I’ll explain here, it’s not too hard. It’s just fast and it helps to have an assembly line too!

You’ll need four pots. The top left was filled with water to boil and sterilize the jars. The small pot on the top right was to boil the caps. The large pot on the right is for doing one final boil of the filled jame jars and the pot in the front of the photo is to boil the fruit, sugar and pectin.

This is the mashed up strawberries. Regardless of your fruit, you can make it the consistency you want. I think one batch was kind of chunky, while this batch was on the smooth end of things.

Seven, yes SEVEN, cups of sugar get added to the strawberries, as well as the pectin. They have to be brought to a boil and cooked for exactly one minute. No more, no less or it doesn’t work and you get syrup, which actually can be used as a ice cream topping or whatever.

Gabe was the official stirrer 🙂

We also managed to find some time to pose for goofy photos. Wouldn’t be a complete jam-making party without that, right?

After we fill the jars, we boil them one last time for 10 minutes to sterilize and complete the final sealing. Oh and yeah, we kind of made a mess as the strawberries and sugar overflowed while boiling. Oops! Sure smelled good though!

Some of our finished product. These are .5 pint jars. We named our jam Strawberry Ways since we picked the strawberries at Way Fruit Farm.

So it’s finally Friday and I got up at the crack of dawn to hit another outdoor boot camp workout. It was another good one!

 Outdoor Boot Camp #3 Workout
You’ll need a partner for part of this)
(depending on band resistance, may need to change times)

Set 1
With an exercise band around one person’s waist and the other person behind them holding it, the first person does walking lunges.
(We did it for distance and it was across 1.5 tennis courts. The person behind controls the resistance.)
The person doing the lunges then does 60 seconds of mountain climbers.
Switch places and repeat.
You repeat the walking lunges twice more with the mountain climbers in between for 45 seconds and then 30 seconds.

Set 2 (3x)
45 seconds of jump squats
With two bands linked and facing your partner, doing 45 seconds of rows. (Make sure to pull away from each other at the same time)
45 seconds of mountain jacks

Set 3 (3x)
45 seconds of jumping jacks
Suicides across a total of three courts

Set 4 (3x)
With band in the arches of both feet and the handles at shoulders, 45 seconds reverse lunges
45 seconds of bicep curls

Set 5
(Back to your partner)
100 pushups
(first person starts and does pushups until they start to slow and then second person starts. Repeat process until you reach 100)

Set 6
45 second squat hold
Shuttle run the distance of four tennis courts
45 second squat pulse
Shuttle run the distance of four tennis courts

Set 7
Three Loops around perimeter of tennis courts (there are 7 where my boot camp takes place)
Mix in sprints, high knees, walking lunges, side steps (or shuffles), jogging and skips

This wasn’t exactly the workout, but pretty close. We also did squats with the bands and a shoulder press. I had one of the tougher bands so the shoulder press was pretty awful! I left those out of this recap.

On top of this great workout, there was another beautiful sunrise. This time was even more neat though as a hot air balloon came across the sky. It was silhouetted along with Mt. Nittany as the sun came up. It honestly was a dream shot for a photographer or even a painter. If I hadn’t been running suicides, I probably would’ve grabbed my camera. Although I don’t think a photo could have done it any justice.

So after a few hours of work today, I’m heading home for Father’s Day weekend since it’s also my Dad’s birthday. Don’t forget to honor your Dads this weekend too!


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