Strawberry Lime Jam

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Who doesn’t love Strawberry Limeade? So why not Strawberry Lime Jam?

I wont be going over the “How To’s” of home canning since there are a million ways it can be done and everyone has their own preferences but I will give a basic run down on how I handled making my own.

•1 and 1/3rds Cup of Washed, Strawberries with the tops cut off.

•1 Standard Lime

•3 Teaspoons Bottled Lime Juice (you can use fresh squeezed Lime Juice if you choose)

•1 and 1/2 Tablespoons Pectin (I used Ball RealFruit Clasic Pectin)

•1 Cup of Sugar

Click Here >>>Recipe Calculator<<< for a recipe calculator to help you increase the recipe from 2-10 jars.

I boiled my jars (8oz jars)  and lids (always use new lids when canning to ensure a proper seal and prevent the growth of bacteria)

Washed and Cut the tops of the Strawberries. Washed the outter skin of the Lime.

I tossed the Strawberries, Sugar, Pectin and Lime Juice in the blender and gave it a good whirl until everything was well blended and there were no chunks of strawberries (I like smooth jam). I took the Lime and the Cheese Grater and rubbed all of the Limes outter skin against the rough pokey side (I believe its the side used for Parmesan Cheese grating) until there was no longer any green skin of the lime left. I tossed the fine lime shavings into the blender and gave it another good spin until it was all mixed.

I poured the contents of the blender into a pan and began to heat the fruit mixture on the stove.

I removed the glass jars from the boiling water and placed them on a clean, lint free towel next to the stove and took my pan with the lids off the burner but left the lids in the water.

Once the Strawberries mixture began to boil, I allowed it to come to a rolling boil (continuous stirring so none burned to the botton of the pan) for approximately 2 minutes then turned it off.

* Scoop off foam if you choose. Adding 1/4 tsp of Butter (Real Butter) to the cooking Strawberry mix greatly reduces foaming.

I used a ladel type scooper to begin scooping the strawberry mixture into the hot jars. I filled them to 1/4 of an inch from the top making sure there was no strawberry mixture along the 1/4 inch head space at the top of the jar, on the top rim or the outter rim. Once each jar was filled, I centered the lid (the disc part that has been sitting in the hot water) then placed the band and tightened it 'finger tight' then returned the lidded and banded jars to the water that the jars were boiled in and turned the burner back up to high. Once the water came to a rolling boil, I set a timer for 15 minutes. Once they were done, I pulled them out of the hot water I placed them on the counter to cool and wait for the lids to seal/pop. By morning they were all sealed.

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As you can see from the photo of my sealed jars of Jam, we have very hard water. Next time I will boil my jars in Distilled Water.

Summer Skeeter Defeater

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Summer is here and so are all the nasty bugs that bite and sting and pinch.

Here in our home we don’t own a can of Deet Based Pesticides, such as OFF™ or anything else like that.

Making your own sprays has other benefits other than just keeping mosquitoes off.

Skeeter Defeater Mosquito Repelling Spray

What you need:
Spray Bottle
1/2 cup Distilled Water
1/2 cup Witch Hazel
15 drops Citronella Essential Oil
15 drops Lavender Essential Oil
15 drops Tea Tree Essential Oil
5 drops Cinnamon Essential Oil or Cloves Essential Oil
5 drops Orange Essential Oils

Cassia Essential Oil is another fantastic oil that coild be used in place of Cinnamon Essential Oils

Mix all ingredients together well. Place half of your Skeeter Solution into a Spray Bottle and place the other half in a cleaned out, empty lidded glass jar in the fridge.

I spray this all over myself and the kids regularly, we avoid spraying faces so that we don’t get it in our eyes. We pay extra special attention to areas that seem to be more prone  to insect bites, like elbows and ankles.

Skeeter Defeater Mosquito Repelling Body Butter

1/2 cup Cocoa Butter (just a reminder Palmers Cocoa Butter does not qualify as Cocoa Butter)
1/2 cup Shea Butter
1/2 cup Coconut Oil
1/2 Almond Oil or Oliver Oil

Essential Oils:
15 drops Citronella Essential Oil
15 drops Tea Tree Essential Oil
15 drops Lavender Essential Oil

5 drops of the following (optional):
Orange Essential Oil*
Clove Essential Oil*
Cinnamon Essential Oil*

*Choose one of the starred oils, using all 3 isn’t needed.

Melt ingredients in a double boiler on the stove. Once the indredients have been melted.
I tend to make this in batches this size and only fill one jar with what I need and opposed to making multiple jars of the same thing. What? I like variety.

Two Options

Option One:
Pour approximately 4 oz into a clean lidded glass jar and add add 15 drops of each of the following: Citronella, Tea Tree Oil and Lavender Oil.
And 5 drops of one of the following: Cinnamon Essential Oil, Orange Essential Oil or Clove Essential Oil. Mix well and pour the warm oils into a lidded jar.

Option Two:

Follow Recipe and instruction in Option One, instead of pouring it into a jar as warm liquid, pour it into a bowl and refrigerate until it begins to harden and take a stick blender and whip the cooling body butter until its light and fluffy. Once its light and fluffy, scoop it into your jar.
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Slather it on and rub it in. Reapply as needed. Of course you will need to apply the Skeeter Defeater Spray or Cream more often than a chemical based product. It isn’t designed to stick to your skin like paint. If something says “lasts all day” or “24 Hour Protection” you can be assured it is chok full of toxins.

According to WebMD Scientists believe that people with high concentrations of steroids or cholesterol on their skin surface will attract mosquitoes. They also are more attracted to people that give off more carbon monoxide.

Here are a few other recipes from other do it yourselfers around the web.

Homemade Bug Spray using Dried Herbs

Easy Homemade Mosquito Repellent using Essential Oils

Essential oil by definition is a natural oil typically obtained by distillation and having the characteristic fragrance and health benefits of the plant or other source from which it is extracted.

If you’ve already been chewed on, there are a lot of fantastic ways to reduce itching!

Inner Imperfections

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When it comes to life and all that it holds, I’m not perfect. I know I’m far from it. Im quite imperfect. I also know your not perfect either. We all make mistakes. I’ve made my fair share and I know my life isn’t nearly over yet and I will make more. A lot more. I also know I’ve learned from past mistakes. I’ve not always veiwed my mistakes as a mistake immediately. Sometimes its taken time. Some longer than others.

This is a blog geared at being peaceful and positive in all aspects without passing judgements on others for their imperfection and mistakes and helping those receptive to better understanding.

“Time is a great teacher,  but unfortunately it kills all of its pupils” – Hector Berloiz

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