Sneaking in some veggies

Brett and I are currently living with his parents while we search for an apartment in Wellington. And although we are on a small farm, we are close to many amenities and sites, including the town of Masterton, Tararua Range, and Castlepoint Beach.

View from the patio in mid-December

I’ve been on Christmas vacation since December 23. Yes, I was amazed to receive a Christmas vacation after only working for three weeks at a new company, but I’m certainly not complaining! The Kiwis are a great example of ‘work-life’ balance.

The weather has been unpredictable lately, with hot, sunny days followed by humidity, wind, and rain. See what I mean about balance?

Today I took advantage of one of the sunny days and spent the morning outside in the garden picking berries. If the neighbours over the hedge weren’t awake at that point, they definitely were after I squealed at the sight of a spider on my hand (i.e., a deafening shriek). Oops.

Needless to say, I got over the traumatic spider experience and was soon rewarded with a giant bowl of raspberries and even more ripe and juicy strawberries.

img_5864With the folks out at Castlepoint Beach for the week, it was just Brett and I. What to do with all the berries?

Since I had recently whipped up a batch of Blender Babe’s Sweet Potato Brownies, I figured a homemade jam would be the perfect accompaniment.

[Note: If the sound of adding sweet potatoes in your dessert terrifies you as much as spiders terrify me – well, I’ll tell you the same thing you’d tell me: Get over it. The addition of sweet potato made these brownies surprisingly moist and gave the center an almost gooey texture. I’ll be making these again.]

Back to the jam.

This was my first experience making jam and it was so easy that I can’t believe I hadn’t tried it sooner. It contains no sugar and is a low-maintenance stove-top recipe – and this baby will last in the fridge for up to two weeks (if it doesn’t get eaten first!). I sadly didn’t take a photo of the raspberries (the strawberries were just so pretty), but you can find the Raspberry-Strawberry Jam recipe on page 294 of Julie Bauer’s Paleo Cookbook.

Also, don’t be scared because it is a “paleo” recipe. I promise, it is very simple and uses four basic ingredients. And pairs deliciously with the Sweet Potato Brownies. Or on toast. Or in Greek yoghurt. Or smoothies. Or literally just eat it with a spoon.

I’m sure you get the point.

As for the remainder of my vacation: Brett and I plan to visit Wellington on Friday to search for an apartment, and I plan to live out the rest of the time relaxing by the pool or sipping on a coffee and reading Bossypants by Tina Fey. Because, what’s the point of living on a farm if you can’t walk around in your pajamas or bikini all day?



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