Every once in awhile when I'm perusing Facebook (aka: procrastinating from doing something more productive), I come across a link shared by a friend that intrigues me. Today, Kristen of Dine & Dish shared a link about Family Day.
The idea behind it is to remind families how important it is to sit down to a meal together.
A couple of people commented on the link, including myself, that it just seems so strange that a "national day" had to be created to do something that should be a no-brainer. Yes, your kids do want to have family time at the dinner (or even breakfast table)... even though they may not say it, just the act of sitting down to a meal together builds important family bonds.
Even when we have an evening filled with activities, we manage to find a way to have dinner together. It may be a bit later than our normal dinner hour, but we do sit down and eat together.
They say that by eating dinner together teaches your children about making healthy choices when it comes to food. A bonus is that extra time to find out about each others day. Another chance to build some memories together.
Now, even though dinner is so very important... some nights, you just need something sweet to top it all off. One of my fondest memories growing up was an hour or so after dinner, My Dad and I would each enjoy a bowl of ice cream. My Sister-in-Law still remembers the first bowl of ice cream I served to her when she was dating My Brother... you see, we loved ice cream... and would serve it up appropriately for someone who adores ice cream. Yes, very large portions! Of course, now I don't indulge like that anymore, but topping my ice cream with something extra special, well that is what I call a no-brainer!
I found this incredibly decadent sundae topping in a new cookbook on canning that I picked up! I had to adjust it a bit, because if I had used all raspberries... there would have been a revolt in my house! My Husband and Oldest adore raspberries and were eyeing them when I bought them, so I opted to do 1/2 raspberries and 1/2 strawberries when I made the topping.
My first time actually processing and canning something turned out so perfectly! I've got 6 jars of this Chocolate Berry Sundae Topper all ready to share during the holidays this year! I'm so excited, it really was very easy to make and the combination of chocolate and berries made plain vanilla ice cream the perfect way to top off our family meal.
Chocolate Berry Sundae Topper
Adapted from : Ball: The Complete Book of Home Preserving
1/2 cup sifted unsweetened cocoa powder
1 package (1.75 oz.) regular powdered fruit pectin
2 cups crushed red raspberries
2 1/2 cups crushed strawberries
4 tablespoons lime juice (recipe says lemon juice, but the substitute worked beautifully)
6 3/4 cups granulated sugar
Prepare canner, jars, and lids.
In a medium glass bowl, combine cocoa powder and pectin, stirring until blended. Set aside.
Using a large stainless steel pan, add crushed berries and lime juice. Whisk in the cocoa mixture until dissolved. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring frequently. Add sugar all at once and return to a full boil, stirring constantly. Boil hard for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and skim off foam.
Ladle the hot sundae mixture into prepared glass jars leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace as needed. Wipe the rims clean, center lid on each jar and screw the band down to finger-tip tightness.
Place jars in the canner, ensuring that they are completely covered with water. Bring to a boil, cover and process for 10 minutes. Remove the lid. Wait 5 minutes, then remove the jars, cool 24 hours and store.
Please note that all photos and content belong to Patsy Kreitman, unless otherwise noted. If you want to use something please ask first.