The best sugar-free Strawberry Jam is homemade

homemade peanut butter and strawberry jam

I have been eating peanut butter and jelly/jam since I was a kid, as most everyone has.  We normally buy whatever is the cheapest because of how pricey they are these days.  It never crossed my mind until recently that I could actually make something that I have enjoyed all of my life and it would be not only cheap, but low cal, sugar-free and actually taste good.

I’ve been making my own peanut butter for the last week and it’s been fine, but I didn’t make the strawberry jam until yesterday.  It has sat in our pantry for the last 24 hours because, well, the person in the instructional video said to give it 24 hours lol.  Also, I was kind of afraid of how it might taste.  Why?  Well because I have bought sugar-free strawberry jam and they don’t taste good… at all.  I mean, they’re okay, I guess, but they aren’t great.  When we came home from the movies today I had myself a half of a sandwich, just because I was curious and I was pleasantly surprised that it was actually good.

So I got the recipe from the Ball website, but I had to go to SparkPeople to type in all the ingredients and servings to get the calories and it came up to 2.3 calories per 1 tablespoon, that’s if 1 8oz jar has 16 tablespoons, which according to my food calculator it does.  Although the recipe says that 4 cups of strawberries makes 6 jars, I did the half recipe to make 3 jars and it actually only filled 2, so I had to adjust it for that missing jar and the calories only went up to 3.4 calories per tablespoon.  So at least when you look at it from a caloric perspective, it’s basically just a big bunch of nothing, so eat all you want.

The recipe calls for 4 cups of strawberries, 1 cup of unsweetened white grape juice (which I couldn’t find, all the store had was light which is what I used to calculate the calories) and 3 tablespoons of pectin.  That’s it.  If you made that recipe you’d end up with 4 jars, even though Ball says 6.  4 jars makes 64 servings.

Yesterday I was thinking that perhaps I made a big mistake and that it’s probably not going to taste good at all without any sugar and that I would make the sugar recipe, but it actually tastes like real strawberry, and that is all you can taste.  Real strawberry jam with a ton of sugar is good and all, but you’re not eating strawberries since half of it is pure sugar.  You might as well pour sugar onto your bread.  At least with this recipe you are getting the strawberries.  And you can make it as chunky as you want, or if you don’t want any chunks you can just mash it all up.  Either way it’s the way you wanted to make it.

So yeah, I will never ever buy peanut butter and strawberry jam ever again for the rest of my life.  I am even thinking about making strawberry and banana jam, see how that works out lol.  Can you just imagine how good that would be?  If you figure that the recipe calls for 4 cups of strawberries, just use 2 and 2 cups of bananas.  Mash most of the bananas up, but then cut half of one of the bananas up so you get some chunks.  Although I haven’t tested that theory, but you bet I’m going to lol.  When strawberries aren’t in season I’m going to make some other jams, like maybe peach, apricot, blueberry, blackberry… and whatever other fruits they have that would make a good sugar-free jam.

I love it when I have good ideas that work out.

Happy Thanksgiving

Today is a day that most people spend with their families, watching football, having uncomfortable conversations about their love life or gossiping about the black sheep (that’s me) who did or said what to who. Eat great food and open the button on their pants and unzip their zipper to let their stomach expand so they can breathe and it’s perfectly normal. There might be a fight, someone might come out of the closet, but at least you are with the ones you love.

I miss that.

We’re going to Hometown Buffet today with Venda then we’re gonna go see the movie Unstoppable. I have seen a commercial or 2 about it but I think it came out a long time ago so it’s probably in the little tiny theater. It’s not my choice but that’s what we’re going to see.

On Thanksgiving people usually say what they are thankful for. Well, I am thankful for my health (generic I know but it’s true) and my freedom. I am thankful that I have little drama in my life. You know us gays, always with the drama. Well, not this one. I try to keep all the drama out because what’s the point really? I am thankful that we have the cutest dog in the world who loves us. I am also very thankful that we have a home, a roof over our head with food in our pantry and fridge. And most of all I am thankful that I am in a relationship with the most wonderful person and that relationship has lasted over 16.5 years and is still going strong.

Well, it’s time to go. Thanks for reading and have a wonderful Thanksgiving day with your families wherever you are. Stay safe and don’t drink and drive!

Ghostly Dreams

ghostI’ve been watching all these ghost videos on YouTube that it has entered my dreams lol.

The one thing that I’ve learned from watching Ghost Hunters on the SyFy (formerly Sci-Fi) channel is that they can’t hurt you.  Well, they kinda can because Jason has gotten scratches and they show people with scratches on their back that they couldn’t have possibly done to themselves.  And there was that one Halloween episode where Grant was being held back and you could see the collar of his jacket being tugged on.  But is that really hurting?

The videos on YouTube that I’ve been watching have been that stupid “Pantry Ghost” video where you can see hands and a face through the glass but someone has proven that it is a fake by showing you how they do it.  So I don’t believe in that one.  This same person has also shot video of himself playing hide n’ seek with his daughter and at the very end you see what appears to be a ghostly apparition in the corner by the dresser.  Well, that could’ve easily been faked using the same techniques as the pantry video.  They also made a video of going into a room and seeing a ghost girl standing up and then another where he opens the board to theattic and he sees a ghost girl turning around to see the camera.  Those are all fake because you cannot see through the ghost, it’s a solid apparition.

I’ve actually had encounters with “ghosts” in my bedroom.  Feeling a cat jump up on the bed and walk around.  That happens sometimes but I’ve accepted that it’s a kitty cat ghost, it can’t hurt me so it doesn’t frighten me in the least.  And one night, this only happened once, I was laying in bed and I felt what seemed like 4 cats on the bed but then I felt as though someone just sat down on the edge of the bed.  The edge of the bed felt like it was pressed down.  You could feel someone sitting.  I didn’t move because I didn’t want to scare it, it didn’t scare me.  I even said hello to it.  I eventually fell asleep.

But last night I had this dream that there was this ghost in the house and it was stalking me.  I went to the front door and there was a piece of furniture sitting in front of the door and it was keeping me in the house.  But I can’t put any stock into that dream because some how our toy chihuahua dog “Flower” duplicated so I had 2 “flowers” lol.

It still scared me, I was frightened and basically just scared out of my mind.  But I know that it was just a dream, they can’t hurt me.  I have to just keep saying and thinking that they cannot hurt me.

I saw “ghosts” as a kid, so did my older sister, my mother told me that she sees them too and that if I feel scared then perhaps it’s not good, it’s “evil” and to say the “lords prayer”.  Well, personally I don’t believe in evil as in hell or the devil.  I do believe in evil as in people who are evil such as those who have murdered other people and laughed about it and don’t regret it or apologize for it.  So I guess if a ghost can be good as people can be good then a ghost can be evil as people can be evil.  It works both ways.

I think the only way to stop those dreams is to stop watching YouTube ghost videos that try to scare you lol.

Hamburger Helper

I went to the store to buy something for lunch and also wanted something for dinner.  I sat and thought about what I wanted before I left to go to the store and Hamburger Helper entered my mind.  We used to have it all the time or whenever it was 10 for $10 at the store.  I’d buy like 10 of them and just keep them in the pantry until we wanted it.

I’m so glad I thought about it but when I went to the aisle that the hamburger helper was on I was overwhelmed with the variety of helper products.

It’s not just hamburger helper.  But then again they’ve had Tuna helper since I was a kid at least.  I seem to recall some time in the late 80’s or maybe early 90’s when I first started seeing Chicken Helper.  But I could be wrong, I wasn’t really paying attention to the chicken helper.  They actually have more than 60 different flavors.

There is so much of a variety of helpers that I just find it so hard to decide.  If you know you want a particular meat like hamburger or tuna or chicken then your choices are at least slimmed down a bit but even still there are so many choices.

I’m a simpleton, I like the original hamburger helper that’s like macaroni and cheese with meat.  I do like to get the stroganoff sometimes and the nacho.  We also like the tuna helper.

But I’m sure you don’t have to be limited to tuna, chicken and hamburger.  I’m sure you can put some other meat in there like say you want meat balls instead or you want to use ground turkey which is actually a lot leaner and healthier choice.  Or you can add ground sausage meat or even maybe spam ground up.

I’m sure all the hunters just love deer helper or bear helper.  Maybe they might like some other kinds of meats like maybe possum helper or road kill helper.  The possibilities are endless in the flavors you can have.  Even cannibals on the islands can have people helper.  There are even people in different countries (which I will not name for fear of being sued) who might like dog helper or cat helper.  Oh and cowboys and jockeys who have a horse with a broken leg don’t have to lose out.  They can have horse helper.

No?  Did I go too far with the horse helper?  Or was it all the way back to the people helper?  Oh come on, that was funny, don’t deny you are laughing out loud.

Day Without A Gay

Today is Day Without A Gay day.  That means that all the gay people are “supposed” to call in sick (or gay) and not work today and not even spend any money today as a form of protest because of Prop 8.

I don’t really have to go to a job every day so that isn’t a problem for me but I do support this protest.  For example, I barely have any food in the pantry and fridge but I will eat tuna and egg salad sandwiches for lunch and dinner if that means I am helping out.