Sunday, August 29, 2010

Well preserved

"My deepest vocation is to be a witness to the glimpses of God I have been allowed to catch." (Henri Nouwen)

Here is what I have preserved so far this summer:
  • 1 batch 3-berry freezer jam with agave (not sweet enough)
  • 2 batches watermelon pickles (about 6 pints each batch)
  • 12 small jars raspberry jam (for Christmas gift-giving)
  • 1 large bag frozen raspberries
  • 6 jelly jars of blueberry/agave jam (many already gifted)
  • 5 pints chopped tomatoes from the garden
  • 3 pints canned salsa (w/tomatoes from the garden)
  • 7 batches of frozen pesto (plus two batches we've already eaten and several gifted!)
  • 2 batches of dried cherry tomatoes (frozen) from the garden

This is actually fresh salsa. No recipe, just tomatoes, green peppers, jalapeno peppers, red onion, cilantro and lime juice. So tasty!

I do actually have some knitting to post from some late-summer projects and hope to get to that soon. I know everyone is in back-to-school mode, and so am I with lots of class prep and Sam getting ready for his first day of preschool. But the blog will probably still be very summery for the next weeks, as I finish up preserving as much of the bounty from our garden (and the farmer's market) as I can. 

    Friday, August 27, 2010

    Raspberry jam

    I'm catching up with photos of all the preserving I've been doing. Here's the yummy raspberry jam made from raspberries from our (and a neighbor down the alley's) raspberries. I still used the Pomona for gelling, but went with real sugar this time.

    I bought these cute little jars for the jam, and got 12 whole jars out of this one recipe. This is so going to be one of my Christmas gifts this year!

    My canner is really just a garage-sale seafood pot with some cake racks in the bottom. I use regular tongs. I've recently read (on my favorite canning blog, "Food in Jars," that some makers of these ceramic top stoves say you can't use them for canning, but I've had no trouble."
    Here they are all canned. I love hearing the "pings" when they come out of the water. I've never had a problem with anythings sealing yet (knock on wood).

    This is what was left, so our family ate it up. It was especially yummy on top of a bagel with cream cheese.
    Today I saw new raspberries on our bushes, so I think we're going to get a second crop. So far, none on the bushes down the alley. I would love to do another dozen of these!

    **Sorry no quote on this post. For some reason Blogger is not letting me insert text before the first photo.

    Monday, August 23, 2010

    Ode to summer

    "Some things ... arrive on their own mysterious hour, on their own terms and not yours, to be seized or relinquished forever." (Gail Godwin)

    Is that gorgeous or what? I've been harvesting basil and tomatoes like crazy these past few weeks (and taking lots of pictures but too busy to post them here). I've also been "putting up"--canning, freezing, drying. It's so fun!

    On a much sadder note, a 9-year-old boy from our parish (a family from our adoptive families group) drowned in Lake Michigan last weekend while on vacation with his family. If you could, please keep his parents and sister (from China) in your thoughts and prayers. 

    Tuesday, August 03, 2010

    Xie Xie*

    "Find out how much God has given you and from it take what you need; the remainder is needed by others." (St. Augustine)

    Some of you may remember this cute "3 Little Pigs" blankie made by my blog friend Diane of Woolie Wanderings, who lives in Scotland but travels all over Europe doing fun things. I live vicariously through her! And congratulations are in order because she just bought a new flat and is busy decorating. 

    Well, no sooner were we home with Sophie than she was emailing me wanting to make a matching blankie for her. Sam's pig one referenced his being born in the Year of the Pig, but she had a hard time making a "rat" connection for Sophie. So she went with Little Red Riding Hood. Isn't she adorable?

    The blankies are made from recycled felt and have tons of cool detail (including a squeeky toy inside). She does beautiful embroidery (and also is quite the knitter). Arrival of this beautiful gift was delayed by the volcano ash, and I've been very remiss in not posting pictures and thanking Diane publicly. 

    She included a little mousy/rat, too. We still haven't finished Sam and Sophie's room, but I have an idea about how I want to display these--and some other handmade gifts the kids have received. Stay tuned...

     *** Xie Xie is "thank you" in Chinese (Mandarin).