Last weekend my dear husband carved some time out of his busy day and drove out to the county to pick some strawberries for me, for this year's supply of jam. By the time he finally got back home, I was starting to get worried! Apparently because of the heavy rain we had this spring, many of the strawberry plants rotted in the fields and the local crop was very poor. Chris had to pick for several hours to bring home a decent quantity of berries, and they weren't the best looking ones we've ever gotten either.
There weren't enough berries leftover to make a second batch, only for us to eat a few, and to freeze some for making smoothies.
I noticed that there are Ontario berries in the grocery store this weekend. They're more expensive than pick-your-own, but not too bad. Maybe I will pick some up to make more jam, I haven't decided yet. I do love homemade strawberry jam on top of oatmeal on a cold winter morning!
Also this past week, I made two loaves of regular white bread, because we were out of bread and I knew there was none on sale at the grocery store. (I refuse to pay $3.50 or even more for a single loaf!) I accidentally left the loaves to rise a bit too long, and they turned out huge!
I'd like to make homemade bread more often to replace store bread for sandwiches, but I am confused about a few things. For one, how can I make the crust softer? Whenever I bake bread the crust is downright hard, which makes it difficult to slice evenly, and isn't very nice to eat sideways in a sandwich. Also, is it possible to get loaf pans that are longer, like the length of a loaf of Wonderbread? I just have regular small loaf pans, and my loaves always end up so tall that the slices look silly, like slices of a giant mushroom. Two such slices make an enormous and strangely shaped peanut butter sandwich.
If anyone has the answers to those questions, or even just any general bread-baking tips, please do share. :)
Change of topic: Currently, Canada Post is having a labour dispute, which means we haven't had any mail service in Canada for two weeks. That means that we have had to shut down our Etsy shop. Thank goodness that right before the strike started, Chris got another job, as an industrial mechanic. It isn't quite full time but it's been such a blessing for us. This past week they sent him out of town, down to Tennessee. He brought me back this lovely plate from Cracker Barrel (a restaurant we don't have in Canada).