Sunday, May 15, 2011

Friday Nights

Friday nights sure aren't what they used to be. And by used to be, I mean before my two children came in to the picture. Don't get me wrong; I adore my children and would not change a single thing about my life. Sometimes I'm just amazed at how different my life is now compared to what it was pre-child. A prime example of this is Friday nights.

Friday night used to be a party. My friends and I, and later, my husband and I, would race home from work, shower, primp, and head out for a night on the town. Sometimes that meant a movie or a club but more often than not, it meant dinners at restaraunts without kids menus and lots and lots of alcohol. We'd stay out until the wee hours and then, upon arriving home would pass out and sleep well in to the morning.

Oh how the tables have turned. Friday nights are still exciting, but in a much different way. And yes, every few months we shell out the cash for a sitter and try to recreate those wild and crazy evenings of times past. But sitters are expensive and we don't recover from overindulgence quite like we used to. Friday nights now involve grilling, cheap beer, a rented movie (usually animated) and hose fights in the back yard. We might even break out the board games and partake of a rousing game of Candy Land or Chutes and Ladders. Everyone is in bed by ten and up by six the next morning. It's not the glamorous life of yesterday, but I wouldn't have it any other way. Simple and sweet.

Occasionally though, we are able to get the best of both worlds. We've been lucky enough to find a family very much like our own. D has grown to be one of my very best friends. Our husbands like each other too and our kids, who happen to be the same age, consider each other siblings. It's a pretty good match if you ask me. And just like us, their Friday nights aren't quite what they used be. So instead of finding the cash we don't really have for a sitter, we descend upon each others houses and share food, fun, and yes...drinks.

All the kiddos and a post dinner popsicle.
A few months ago I taught D how to make jam. I spoiled her. Just like me, she simply can't go back to store bought. Who knows what's in that stuff?! She had a freezer full of strawberries and I had a hankering for a good time. The result? Turkey tacos, giant margaritas and Kiwi Strawberry Daquiri jam. A word to the wise: go easy on the tequila when working with hot jam. I burned myself way more than usual!

Kiwi Strawberry Daquiri Jam

1 cup kiwi, peeled and crushed

1 cup strawberries, crushed

2/3 cup unsweetened pineapple juice

1/3 cup lime juice (real limes, not the icky bottled stuff)

1 (1 3/4 ounce) package fruit pectin

3 cups sugar

1/4 cup rum (We used Parrot Bay Coconut Rum...yummy!)

1 PREPARE boiling water canner. Wash and heat jars and lids in simmering water until ready for use. Do not boil. Set bands aside.

2 COMBINE kiwifruit, strawberries, pineapple juice and lime juice in a large saucepan. Gradually stir in pectin. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring frequently. Add sugar and return to a full rolling boil that can not be stirred down, stirring constantly. Boil hard for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Immediately stir in rum. Remove from heat. Skim off foam if necessary.

3 LADLE hot jam (this is where that not being tipsy thing come in to play) into hot jars leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Wipe rim. Center lid on jar. Center lid on jar. Apply band until fit is fingertip tight.

4 PROCESS in a boiling water canner for 10 minutes, adjusting for altitude. Remove jars and cool. Check lids for seal after 24 hours. Lid should not flex up and down when center is pressed.

It's fruity, it's tropical, and it might be the best dang jam I've made yet. We doubled the batch and got ten half pint jars. Five jars each of beachy goodness that will be gone in record time.Yummy. Tastes like a beach vacation...

Stealing a sip over crushed strawberries and kiwis.


1 comment:

  1. Funny how when we were in our twenties we scoffed at the thirty-somethings that went home to watch cartoons with their kids and swore we'd never be like that. Now, a fun time is had over knitting, a chick flick, and a bottle of wine. I can't imagine coming home on Friday with enough energy to put on mascara, let alone go out dancing for hours!! Your life looks wonderful as it you to count your blessings!