Friday, July 15, 2011

Strawberry Lemon Preserves

I have to say first that this was the most yummy smelling thing we've made in the last several weeks. My kitchen still smells like strawberries and lemons.

These strawberry lemon preserves were made following a recipe from Canning for a New Generation. I really love this book. Easy to follow directions, recipes organized by season, and it includes recipes for vegetable canning, not just fruit. I have a real thing for cookbooks organized seasonally (Rustic Fruit Desserts got me stuck on cookbooks organized this way) and that makes certain cookbooks trump others in my heart.

Looks like we needed to try to get just a little more foam off the top...

Kristen asked how we were canning our strawberries this year. The plain strawberry jam we canned is freezer jam with a packaged pectin. This is the way we've been making our jam for the last few summers, but I've been reading more about canning without a packaged pectin, and now I'm leaning that direction. The strawberry lemon preserves are the first fruit I've canned without packaged pectin and it was pretty simple.

We have a lot of plans for canning without a packaged pectin this summer, so I'll be sure to let you know how it goes.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Yarn Along

Yarning along with Ginny again this week...

Back again this week, this time without contortionist photos. I gave Ender a quick talk this morning about how to aim the camera, stood him on a chair and told him to go for it. Not too bad, right?

This is the Textured Tunic, totally unblocked, fresh from being wadded up in a pile while I work on the sleeves. We've been watching all the Harry Potter movies over the last several days in preparation for HP7 part 2 on Friday so I've been working on the sweater every time we watch. We watched HP6 tonight and I made it about 3/4 of the way through that first sleeve.

And yes, my extra skeins are IN my project bag this week. No "out of yarn" emergencies in the last 7 days. We'll see how long until I have to reset the counter.

Reading wise? All I can tell you is what's on my nightstand waiting to be read.

The past week has been a bit of a blur between the birthday party, a husband down with bronchitis, all the strawberrry canning, a child down with pneumonia, and a few organizing projects I should NOT have started while we were in the middle of all that other stuff.

On my nightstand waiting is Naamah's Blessing and Patchwork Style. I've started them both but haven't gotten far. I'll get back to reading after getting through this work week and finishing up a few projects.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Strawberry Jam

Our kitchen has been quite busy the last few days!

We were finally able to get our hands on some strawberries this past weekend and we took the opportunity to restock our supply of strawberry jam. Last year we made 8 half pints thinking that it would be enough since Ender and I are the only serious jam eaters in the house, but Ezra joined us in the jam eating and we gave a few away... so we ran out around February even after trying to be careful in how we used it.

So this year we made jam plans.

And not just more strawberry jam. We checked out a few different books from the library and I ended up buying Canning for a New Generation. Ender and I have been through that book many many times in the last two weeks and let me tell you- that boy has serious plans.

:: Plain strawberry jam

:: Strawberry lemon preserves

:: Strawberry rubarb jam

... and plans for blackberry and cherries and peaches if we should come across good ones.

We spent Saturday making the plain strawberry jam:

And ended up with 7 half pints and 1 pint, just because I ran out of half pint jars.
Total miscalculation on my part.

We're planning another10-12 half pints of jam from the strawberries because as much as Ender and I love to eat jam I think we love giving it away just as well.
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