Hoosier Girl….Is Jammin’!

Is there anything better than summer berries?  Not much, unless its homemade berry jam in the middle of winter!  My mom makes the BEST!  Last year I decided it was time for a lesson from her on the fine art of jam making.  When it was all over, I realized how easy it was.  If I can do it, you can do it.  Here’s how:

Before you begin, wash your jars (you’ll need about twelve 4 oz or six to eight 8 oz), then rinse.  Keep them in the sink in good hot water.  Place the seal lids in a small pan of water on the stove at low/medium heat.  Doing this warms up the rubber ring; and will aid in the seal later.

Gather up a few old dish towels and dish rags; cause you probably make a little bit of a mess.  It’s part of the fun!

Ingredients you will need:

3 cups of strawberries                                   1 ½ cups of black raspberries                        1 ½ cups of red raspberries

1 box Sure-jell light                                        4 ½ cups sugar                                                  ½ tsp margarine or butter

1.  Wash and mash 6 cups of berries. (I usually use 3 cups of strawberries, 1 ½ cups of red raspberries, and 1 ½ cups of black raspberries.)  The measurement is after they’re mashed.    

Delicious Raspberries!

Delicious Raspberries!

   Black raspberries can be hard to find but are well worth the hunt in this recipe.  Once you find a good source for them, don’t let them go. Befriend them!

    2.  Put the berries in a good sized pot and add ½ tsp, margarine or butter, ¼ cup of sugar, and 1 box of Sure-jell Light.  If           you’ve never made jam before and don’t know what this is, it’ll be in the grocery store right next to the canning jars.  I             like the “light” because it saves on a little sugar.

          Measure out another 4 ¼ cups of sugar and set aside.

The boiling jam is beginning to make my mouth water!

The boiling jam is beginning to make my mouth water!


3.  Turn the stove on to medium high heat and bring the berries to a boil.   Now add the other 4 ¼ cups of sugar, stir well            and often. Bring it to a boil again for only 1 minute. Remove from the heat.

4.  At this point there may be a little bit of foam forming on the top of the hot jam. Try to skim some of it off with a spoon.         I just put it in a little dish and you can use it on a piece of bread later. It’s pretty good too!

The delicious jam pouring into your jars!

The delicious jam pouring into your jars!


    5.  Now it’s time to spoon the jam into the clean, warm jars.  I use a gravy ladle.  Be prepared to            get messy! Carefully ladle the jam into the warm jars and make sure to not be skimpy.

Jars waiting to turn right-side-up.

Jars waiting to turn right-side-up.

    Go just below the top. Set the jar on the counter and wipe the rim clean with a dishrag or paper     towel. Use tongs to get the lids out of the pot of warm water and place them on the jar. Screw         on the rim and turn jar upside down for about 15 minutes. Go on to the next jar.

   6.  After the 15 minutes are up, turn them right side up and listen for the lids to “pop.”  This is             ensuring that they have sealed. Let them sit until they are cool and then they are ready to               store.

 YOU DID IT!     The first time is the hardest, so once you’ve tried it, you’ll be more confident.

Meri Meri* Jar Label Kit

Meri Meri* Jar Label Kit


   I love to give these jams as gifts.  When I do, I like to make them look a little special by adding cute jar lid toppers and        hang tags.  We just received these in our Sweet Bee Gift Shop at L.J. Wagner Home Interiors.  The entire kit that will          decorate 24 jars is only $13.95.

See ya next time,

                   Hoosier Girl

Invite Nora Fleming to Your Table


Jane, Nora and Cheryl at the Atlanta Gift Show!

 There’s something special that happens when the hostess of a party pays attention to the  display as well as the menu.  Recently, a longtime friend hosted a dessert and game night  for her lady friends.  Her table and buffet were beautifully set with yummy goodies and  drinks.  But what stopped me in my tracks was the creative displays she used serving her  food.  The time and thought my friend gave to this gathering made all of us feel special and  the evening was a great success!



nora fleming upclose display

Wide variety of platters and minis to choose from.

Entertaining can be intimidating for some of us.  Not only preparing the food, but presenting it can seem daunting; and keep us from hosting our family and friends.  However, easy entertaining is right at hand with Nora Fleming serving-ware.


Brother and Sister working together to create these adorable serving pieces!

This brother-sister team has created customizable serving platters easily used for any holiday or season.  Both agree that their team works to achieve one goal…to bring joy to every table and event.

What makes me so excited about this product is the fun, colorful minis.  Each serving piece is created with a hole, to insert a mini, reflecting the occasion. Party ends…the mini comes off for storage.  A keepsake box which stores the minis is also a part of Nora’s line.

nora fleming display

Keepsake Box Makes a Great Gift!

I think its fun to own unique pieces for entertaining and an easy gift for my family members.  You can check out our line of Nora Fleming in Sweet Bee. We carry the serving pieces and a large selection of minis.  Spot a mini you really like?  You might want to purchase it now instead of waiting.  Nora does retire minis, while creating new ones for her fans.

Let’s celebrate the end of winter…

and the start of warmer weather!

Only a few more days until Spring.  Are you ready for entertaining?

It’s easy if Nora is at your table!



A bit of Whimsy

Playful…..giggly…..lively….Do these adjectives describe me?  Noooo….but how I wish I could be more like them.  Just for a day – fun loving – quick with a laugh – whimsical.  There it is….whimsical…the words makes me smile.  🙂

So does Curly Girl!  Leigh, the artist, writer, and creator of this greeting card and gift company is a woman of many words.  Funny words, quirky words, poignant words….words of friendship….of sympathy….of laughter.  She understands feelings and expresses them in her own style of whimsy.  Napkins, cards, plates, and matted prints are just some of the items we offer in this line at L. J. Wagner home Interiors.  I just purchased cute cocktail napkins for a holiday company party we’re hosting this week in our home….”Don’t Get your Tinsel in a Tangle.”

I’m repeating those words throughout my week!  So much to do during the holiday season:  Decorating the home, Christmas Gifts, cooking, baking, Gathering with family and friends…..It’s ALOT of work!  But SO worth it all in the end!

Stop in to see how Curly Girl can add a little joy and whimsy to your holiday; PLUS  you can save 20% on Curly Girl during today’s 25 Gifts of Christmas!

Wishing you the Warmest and Most Joyful Holiday Season!