Simple Pleasures: Homemade Goodies

The other day my podcast co-host and I took our kids, saddled them up in the car, stopped at the local coffee shop for a caffeine fix and took off to pick blackberries.  I love the summer & early fall, and usually try to take in as much fresh fruit & products from the Farmers’ Markets as humanly possible.  Pies, cobbler, yogurt with granola and fruit, salad and just straight up fruit and fresh veg.  Ahhhh…  Another thing I love to do is make homemade jam.  It’s a simple pleasure that allows me to unplug and create something we’ll use in the coming months.

Simple Pleasures = Connection

I believe life is too short to be a workaholic, so I take time for hobbies that bring me joy.  I love making jam in June-September because in February when my son bites into a PB&J I know I made that happen with my own two hands.  Something about homemade goodies makes me happy and connects me to a simpler time.  Blackberries + sugar + pectin + jar = yummy purply goodness on toast in the morning.  Blackberries + sugar + butter + flour + water + lemon juice = a blackberry pie that makes my hubby swoon.  Simple to do, and (when done right) smiling happy faces eating something positively yummy.

I’ve been asked how I have time to make jam, and I’m amazed at how many people not only don’t know how to do it but are intimidated by the entire process.  Canning was a part of my life growing up, and I remember my mother staying up literally all night.  In my hometown, summer temperatures soared to over 100F, so nighttime was a perfect time of day to heat up the kitchen without overloading the air conditioner.  So, she stayed up with her wooden spoon, canning kettle and jars cranking out jars of peaches, pears, tomato sauce, jam, pickles and veggies of all kinds.  I remember the shelves in our hallway overflowing with all the colors of the rainbow perfectly preserved and waiting for the cold winter months.

Nothin’ says lovin’ like something you made yourself.  What hobby or activity makes you smile and connects you to good memories or a feeling of satisfaction?  When was the last time you did it?  What are you waiting for?

17 thoughts on “Simple Pleasures: Homemade Goodies”

  1. I have wild blackberries on my property, I was able to pick enough to make a blackberry crisp this summer, yum!

    Your pie looks oh so yummy and I wish I could have a piece right now! 🙂

    So nice to meet you!

    Bellas last blog post..Candice Olsen + Pumpkins =

  2. Wish I could make a good pie- just can’t do it- my crust is never right- Yours looks great- I also have memories of my Mother canning.
    Thanks for sharing.

  3. Brandie, canning, freezing and pickling was a big part of my childhood too. I would help my mom and grandmother during the summers, to can and freeze tomatoes, peaches, green beans, corn, watermelon rinds, cucumbers and all kinds of other stuff we grew ourselves.

    I have made preserves recently too and it’s really not hard if you know what you’re doing. Canning is a lost art, and sadly it is now mostly left up to commercial canneries. That pie looks amazing. I’m jealous though, because our blackberries are long over by now. (although I did make some delicious stuff with ’em!)


  4. Brandie, that pie looks incredible and I can practically taste the jam. While I’m not one to spend time in the kitchen (luckily for me, my husband’s a skilled cook and baker), I’m totally behind you on spending time doing things you love. Life’s too short to do nothing but work, no matter how much we enjoy our work. I carve out time virtually every day to knit (last time I did it was yesterday), it’s the perfect way for me to wind down. Knitting connects me with a wonderful community of knitters. And the big bonus is the hand-made items at the end!

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