For years, whenever we go to the library, I've just picked up whatever books I have on hold and then browsed around the juvenile section with the kids. Yesterday, however, we went there because we had some time to kill and I didn't have any books on hold waiting for me, so I decided to browse around in the cookbook section to see if I could find anything good to read while we were there. I can't believe I don't do that more often! I love cookbooks and, even though they were getting heavy and I knew I would feel kind of silly checking out so many, I kept adding to my pile. Look what I came home with!I've been having fun reading through these since yesterday, and finding all sorts of new delicious-sounding things to make. There was a slight downside to my random browsing, however. Allie was carrying her own bag for her books, and while I was engrossed in the cookbooks, she was close by taking other books off the shelf and adding them to her bag, completely unbeknownst to me. Then when we checked out, I was distracted by Noah's abusing the handicap door button and possibly smashing unsuspecting library patrons in the door, so I didn't pay much attention to the books that we were actually getting. You can imagine my confusion at home when I unloaded the books and discovered some real gems, such as Living with Diabetes and (sure to become a family favorite) Busting Out: Putting Your Best Breasts Forward.
Later in the afternoon, I wanted to make some strawberry preserves. I made a batch of strawberry/cranberry preserves back at Christmas to go in gift baskets and I thought those turned out really well. We have used up the last of that batch and we enjoyed it so much that I wanted to make more, except just a strawberry version this time. I found a recipe that didn't use pectin, which is a plus, and it had lots of good reviews so I decided to go with that one.The mixture was supposed to boil until it reached 220 degrees. In the reviews some people complained that theirs didn't set up and then other people said that was because they probably didn't wait until it reached 220. Because of this, I kept boiling and boiling and boiling mine forever, waiting for it to get hot enough. It was only up to about 200 when I started to get the idea that it was burning. There was the slightest burning smell, and when I stirred it, there was charred black stuff on the bottom. Finally I gave up and just put it all in the jars, hoping for the best. It did set up, but the flavor isn't wonderful. I'm not sure what happened. I did cut back on the sugar by half, so maybe that affected it's ability to get up to 220 degrees. Who knows? It's not great, but still good enough that I think we will go ahead and eat it. Emma used it to make some pb&j sandwiches and, thankfully, there were no complaints from the peanut gallery.