What is MOPS? It is a place for moms with young children (ages birth to 5 years) to come together and connect with each other and form a community of women. A place of refreshing and spending time with other moms who are in the same place in life. Honestly, every mom needs some time with other moms, to have girl talk, to laugh with and cry with, and enjoy the journey of motherhood. It is a place to build relationship with other moms. Moms that understand the things you are going through daily. Moms that know what it is like to have multiple small children running around the house. Moms that know what it is like to have 24/7 responsibilities, that yes, we love whole heartedly. MOPS helps us build an amazing support system that can be so hard to find. We are able to build relationships that will last for years to come.
As a child I was able to experience MOPS at a local church. My mom went with friends and took my brother and I along. I don’t remember much of it, but I do know that it was something that I enjoyed. As a teenager I volunteered to help with childcare at MOPS at the same local church. I went with a young mom who was my neighbor. She went to benefit from the MOPS program and I was able to spend time doing something that I enjoyed, playing with the small children. The MOPS program at that church ended not long after that for many reasons. This year as a young mom myself I have the pleasure a being a part of bringing MOPS back to this area at that very same church. I am privileged to be able to work along side of some of my good friends and also to make some new friends that are in leadership. I am so excited to have this opportunity. We are officially chartered and taking registrations for this fall and I am very excited to see this all come together. I am leading the crafts and activities. With the help of a friend of mine we are putting together all sorts of fun things to make and do this year. This is an adventure that I am really looking forward to. I myself need the time that MOPS provides twice a month to spend time with friends old and new. To build that support system that I believe every mom needs. I am so thankful to have this opportunity with MOPS this year. It is going to be amazing!
It is strawberry season here is Pennsylvania! The kids have been finding small wild strawberries on our path over to the farm these past couple of weeks. They love searching for them. Unfortunately they are not enough to do anything with. So the kids enjoy their little treat. Every year we will buy a few quarts of strawberries to enjoy. This year I wasn’t able to go pick them myself so I just bought them from Aldi. We will have them all sorts of ways, but one of my favorite things to make with them is Strawberry Freezer Jam. I will make enough of it to last us through the winter. I love being able to open up a jar of jam in the middle of the cold winter and have a little taste of summer and warm sunshine. It is fairly simple to make. Honestly the hardest part is not eating half of the strawberries while you are cutting them up.
After you rinse off your berries you will hull them and cut in quarters. I use my potato masher to mash them. You can also put them in your blender and pulse until they are the consistency that you like. I like to have little pieces of fruit in my jam, but if you would rather it smoother you could mash a bit more than I did mine.
I make 2 quarts of berries at a time. It will equal about 4 cups of mashed berries.
Next mix together your fruit pectin and sugar.
1 Cup Sugar
4 Tablespoons Pectin
I am using instant pectin, that way I don’t have to cook anything. I can just mix it together. After you have the pectin and sugar mixed together add the pectin mixture to the berries and stir for 3 minutes. It is important to stir for the full 3 minutes. This will help to ensure that your jam with set and thicken. Spoon the jam into clean jars. I often use empty peanut butter jars. They are handy and a good size for us. You can really use any jar that you have as long as it is freezer safe and the top seals well. Make sure that you leave a 1/2 inch of headspace at the top of the jar because the jam will expand as it freezes. Then go ahead and put your jam in the freezer. If it even makes it that far. It is that good! It will last in the refrigerator for a couple of weeks. When you are ready to use it just take it out of the freezer and put it in the refrigerator until it thaws out. Enjoy!!