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Sunday, August 29, 2021

Menu Plan: August 29 - September 4

We are so thankful for our gleaning club and the Grocery Outlet We have crates of peaches for canning, peppers, and cucumbers because of our gleaning club, plus some cheaper purchases of nectarines and peaches for fresh eating and a huge watermelon with seeds. We like to salt and roast the watermelon seeds for snacks and the seeded watermelons really taste so much better than the seedless kinds. We have been getting such great deals on our regular groceries at the Grocery Outlet, but especially now that we are sometimes buying specialty items for Jerome, we are paying about a quarter of what it costs at the regular store. This is one of the ways that God truly has blessed and cared for us. I try to keep my eyes open for how He provides for us, and this is a gift to any family, but especially a family of our size.

Fall continues apace. I can only hope that we get a real autumn, and not head straight into winter by the third week of September. My hopes are limited, because of our weird, short, hot and cold, summer. We shall see. I love the autumn, and it makes me sad that it is so short here and just makes me anticipate the cold and misery of winter. On the positive side, we have an abundance of produce from our gleaning group, and we are able both to share with others and stock our pantry and freezer with them. We have so many peppers, eggplant, cucumbers, and summer squash, as well as quite a few peaches. There will be a lot of freezing and canning this week. We will also have a lot of salads, just because we have an embarrassment of salad greens.

We are keeping both Jerome's special diet and our abstinent fasts as best we can. Again, we are so thankful for the blessings God has sent us to help feed our family on a budget and care for special diets without too much expense. I need to spend some time this week preparing lesson plans and schedules for our school year. Alexander is just about out of the house, and when Dominic either goes to a university program or begins his film internship, which is still being decided, we will have no need for our big van. It might come in handy if we needed to give someone else a ride, and it does come in handy for having an extra vehicle for Amira, when I need the mini-van, so we may not get rid of it yet, but we could. Part of me wants to sell it really low to a family who needs it, so they can afford to do the repairs that would be necessary to really make it fit again. Our other option is just to drive it into the ground and donate it for parts. We will have to decide soon, I suppose.

What is on your menu this week? If you want a recipe, ask and I will provide it as soon as I can. If there are any starred recipes, I will follow up separately with a weekly recipe round up on Saturday.

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Saturday, August 28, 2021

Recipe Round Up: Blackberry Lime Pie

This pie is so good! And it won a blue ribbon at the fair this year. You can decorate it with a lattice crust as I did in this recent one, or just top it with a regular top crust, as you wish. this recipe will make either one large, deep dish pie, or two normal sized pies. We had an elderly lady at one of our neighborhood potlucks tell me how good it sounded once, and I made sure to make one in a mini-pie pan for her for the next dinner. That was almost two years ago, when we were able to do those things. This year, we have finally decided we will do it no matter what, thank God. It is not right for people to be isolated like this. I will bring another couple of these pies for her and the rest of the neighbors.

Blackberry Lime Pie

1 recipe Flaky Butter Crust
6 cups blackberries (fresh or frozen)
2 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup tapioca starch
zest and juice from 4 limes
2 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter, cut into small pieces (optional, but much better)

Pre-heat your oven to 400˚ F.

In a large bowl, mix blackberries with sugar and tapioca starch, to coat each berry. Add the zest and juice of the limes and stir to combine well.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pie crust and line a large, deep dish pie pan. Roll out the second crust and either set it aside, or cut into strips to make a lattice crust. Fill the pie crust with the berry filling and dot with the butter. Cover with the top crust and cut vents or weave the lattice crust over the top of the pie. Bake for 55 - 60 minutes, until filling is bubbly and the crust is lightly browned. Allow to cool completely on a rack (if you have any self-control) and serve.

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Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Craft On: Fair Week, Ribbons, and Tarboosh

Remember how I had to undo my nearly finished hat and start over? Well, I did it, and won at yarn chicken! Do you see that little, tiny ball of yarn? That is just over 1 yard. I am absolutely thrilled with the flat, circular crown on the hat, and really glad that my calculations worked. Today, I am polishing off the pattern to send to my tech editor, and should have it ready for beta knitting in a couple weeks. Are you interested in that? Please let me know, as I really hope to get some project photos from beta knitters out there on social media. It has been almost nine months since I last published a pattern, and I really hope to have this and at least a few others before the end of the year. Your willingness to try a tech edited pattern for free helps me publicize my patterns, make sure that it is knitter-friendly, and I really appreciate those of you who do that.

Our fair had super weird rules on exhibit entries this year, and it didn't seem like the department superintendents really knew much about them, nor had any input on them, nor liked them. The rule for knit/crocheted items at our fair has always been that they needed to be completed in the time between the last fair and this one. This year, that gave us two years. So, I wanted to enter my Khamseen shawl. However, this year, they prohibited professional division entries. Before, I hadn't qualified as a professional, because you had to make over a certain amount of money that year to count, and I was just below, so it didn't matter. This year, I did, but there were no professional entries allowed. So, did that mean if you made under that amount you weren't a professional? Or that you couldn't enter at all? Also, do all my knitting entries count as professional? Or just my own designs? I asked four people, none of whom knew. So, we compromised, and I entered a pair of mitts I made from someone else's pattern, but not my shawl. I'm frustrated that they entirely eliminated the professional division, especially because it's not like they have a surfeit of entries so they need to limit them. It was so empty. The superintendents were upset, because they said that the professional entries helped the beginners see what they could do if they progressed. I am going to politely ask the fair board about it once fair is over (along with a few other questions/suggestions) and try not to be elected to the fair board, since I want to tell them what to do.

Anyway, my mitts received a blue ribbon, as did my blackberry-lime pie*, Cashew Brutal, Brown Sugar Shortbread, Best Ever Chocolate Chip Cookies, Sirnica, and Light Bread. Yasmina and Mariam also made the chocolate chip cookies and shortbread, respectively, and we entered a special contest for a parent and child contest, and it seems like we were the only ones to enter, so we probably have a good chance of winning. Also, we are waiting to see if I get best pie award, or any awards for the yeast breads. Jerome entered a loaf of his gluten-free bread and Amira, Jerome, Yasmina, Mariam and Nejat all entered pictures they had painted or drawn and some crafts that they had made.

So, I'm frustrated that just about every modern fiction piece I have read recently has to include at least one divorced person. I know it is a reality of modern life, and much more common, but why do all the main characters have to be divorced? Where are the happily married characters? Or even widowed ones? Anyway, I was trying to decide if my happy, little murder was worth all the divorced people on the make or not, but I did finish it. The kids and I are slowly working through Anne of Windy Poplars. Fair booth schedules and work schedules and who is at home schedules threw all our reading and family time off last week. I picked up Desert Queen again, and I'm hoping to finish it soon.

* I will be posting the pie recipe this weekend!


Linking to Unraveled Wednesday.

If you would like to receive updates and early notice of new patterns, beta knitting opportunities, and great discounts (plus pictures of new yarns, new tools, fun places, neat hints, book ideas, recipes and more) each month, please subscribe to 1,001 Knits. My best, and sometimes my only, discounts go to my subscribers.

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Sunday, August 22, 2021

Menu Plan: August 22 - 28


"Holy Spirit, inspire me. Love of God, consume me, on the true path, lead me. Mary, my Mother, look upon me, with Jesus, bless me. From all evil, from all illusion, from all danger, preserve me."

"Always remember to love your neighbor; always prefer the person who tries your patience, who tests your virtue, because with them you can always gain merit."

"It is sweet to think of Jesus; but it is sweeter to do His will."
~ Saint Mariam Baouardy (Mary of Jesus Crucified) ~

Another fair week has come and gone, and just like clockwork, fall is here. Every year since we have lived here, fall winds come after fair and the Monday following it is the first day of autumn. I love the fall, but here, it is just a sign that winter is on its way. We can look forward to about two to four weeks of fall weather before we will see below freezing nights most years. You'll notice that we have started including more fall type meals this week, too.

Fair week, even with planning for people being all over the place at all hours still wreaked havoc on our meal schedule, so we have a couple repeats this week. This week, we have Mariam's birthday, and though we won't be able to have her party on her birthday, we will be able to have some of her friends over for a party. Yasmina is still waiting for her birthday party, but we are hoping to put it together for another weekend, since it is a little more complicated to put into action.

We begin Jerome's fifth month on his allergy diet. Two months to go before we start re-introducing foods, and we are so excited! If you have any food allergies and have hints for us, we would appreciate it, or are looking for ideas, I hope our menu plans help.

What is on your menu this week? If you want a recipe, ask and I will provide it as soon as I can. If there are any starred recipes, I will follow up separately with a weekly recipe round up on Saturday. Linking to Menu Plan Monday

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Sunday, August 15, 2021

Menu Plan: Feast of the Dormition


In birth, you preserved your virginity; in death, you did not abandon the world, O Theotokos. As mother of life, you departed to the source of life, delivering our souls from death by your intercessions.

Shudder, O ye heavens! and, O earth, give ear unto these words: God descended once before for our sake; He descends again today for His Mother.

Blessed Feast! This is the fourth highest feast in the Church year, following the Paschal feast, Pentecost, and the feast of the Nativity. Church teaching is that all the apostles but Thomas were gathered mystically around the Blessed Mother as she died, and were there for her burial. Thomas, arriving three days later, was taken to her tomb, only to find that it was empty. This Church teaching of the assumption of her body into heaven is not just a pious tradition, but holds some deep spiritual and physical truths for us. It is a sign and reminder to us that not only Christ resurrected bodily, but that we all will rise. Also, we now know, as they didn't then, that all women bear the DNA of each and every child borne to them in their bodies forever. So, by raising His mother, our Lord made sure that His resurrection was complete on this earth. If this had not happened, then He would not be completely risen. What a wonder and miracle!

So many times, when people deny the honor to the Theotokos, it is really a dishonor to the Lord. Even denying her the title Theotokos ends up declaring that Christ was either not God in her womb, or that He is not God incarnate. It is not intentional, but I think a good question to ask oneself when putting her "in her place" is what does this mean about Christ and His divinity? If it ends up dishonoring Him, calling His divinity into question, or lessening Him, it isn't a good thing. Likewise, so many people say that there is too much honor given her, without actually considering whether or not they honor her enough or even at all. What is just the right amount of honor? Surely it isn't debasing the woman who bore and raised our Lord? Jesus was born a Jew and fulfilled the law. He loved and honored His mother, and as we could not have had Him without her, why would we want that, instead of following His example?

Since it was the feast of Saint Laurence last week, Rich said that we should grill the kofta. So, we did. And he shaped them like little men. Also, while we ended up moving a few things around, because it is a busy fair week this week, we will probably not see them until next week. We ended up with a ton of lettuce, so I am making loads of salads this week, too. It will be great in sandwiches and wraps when we need to run for fair, also.

Jerome's diet means that I am not going to try to do the fair food night this year. There are just too many things that he can't eat involved, I don't know that I can figure them all out for that whole meal, and I don't want him to be left out of the festivities, so we will put it off and eat it at a later date. However, that doesn't mean that we aren't baking up a storm. Two of the girls, Jerome and I are all entering things into the fair. So, today and tomorrow, there is a lot of baking going on. We will have to do our family celebration on Sunday.

Rejoice, O Virgin Mother of God, Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee! Blessed art though amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, for thou hast borne the savior of our souls.

Dominic said that when we pray this prayer, or any other Marian prayers like the Hail Mary, which are based on the text of Luke, we are placing ourselves in the prophecy from Mary's own lips: "For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed" Luke 1:48

What is on your menu this week? If you want a recipe, ask and I will provide it as soon as I can. If there are any starred recipes, I will follow up separately with a weekly recipe round up on Saturday. Linking to Menu Plan Monday

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Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Craft On: Not Even Close

That is what my new hat design looked like before I ripped it out and started it again. I had forgotten that the gauge on the mitts was knit flat, and then worked this in the round, and let's just say that it was a bit too large. All of my calculations were off because of that, so I reworked them, and I started again last night. Needless to say, this will not be with my tech editor this week, unless maybe it is right at the end of this week. On the plus side, I had been worried about losing yarn chicken, and it will not be so likely now that I am making a smaller hat. Also, I do know that my decreases and the way I have worked the hat will turn out in the shape I intended, so that is another good thing.

Can you see the texture of the inside of the hat? This isn't technically a reversible pattern, but the wrong side of it is also pretty, and I think I may have to use it in something else. Do you pay attention to the wrong side of your knitting?

I've been reading another happy, little murder, and making good progress in Desert Queen. The kids and I finished Anne of the Island and have just started Anne of Windy Poplars. I can't wait to show them the next movie!


Linking to Unraveled Wednesday.

If you would like to receive updates and early notice of new patterns, beta knitting opportunities, and great discounts (plus pictures of new yarns, new tools, fun places, neat hints, book ideas, recipes and more) each month, please subscribe to 1,001 Knits. My best, and sometimes my only, discounts go to my subscribers.

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Sunday, August 08, 2021

Menu Plan: August 8 - 14

We have an abundance of cucumbers and peaches this week. My goal is to pickle a whole lot this week and eat a ton of peaches.

Fair is nearly here, which means that our brief autumn is nearly upon us. I have always loved the fall, and here it just makes me sad because it is only a couple/few weeks, then it is below freezing at night. So now fall just anticipates cold and sorrow for me. I'm trying not to think about that, and instead focus on that last fun of summer.

The meals this week might shift, because I am not sure how much of the turkey we will have left. If we have a lot of it, I will make a red chile sauce to mix with it and stuff some arepas with that. Also, we have a repeat meal from last week, because we ended up having something else for the feast of the Transfiguration.

What is on your menu this week? If you want a recipe, ask and I will provide it as soon as I can. If there are any starred recipes, I will follow up separately with a weekly recipe round up on Saturday. Linking to Menu Plan Monday

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Saturday, August 07, 2021

Recipe Round Up: Apple-Coconut Breakfast Bowl

Apple-Coconut Breakfast Bowl

This recipe was one we found when we were first figuring out diets for Jerome. It is vegan, full of protein, and very filling, so it is a perfect Lenten breakfast, as well. It has a mouthfeel like cereal, but is much more healthful. And it is delicious. This amount serves four generously, which of course is about a third of what we make here.

3 large apples, cored and roughly chopped
1/3 cup chopped dates
1/3 cup pecans
1/3 cup dried coconut

1/4 cup almond butter (or peanut butter)
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons honey

Place apples, dates, pecans and coconut in a food processor or grinder, and process until they are uniform and small in size.

In a small bowl, whisk together the almond butter, water and honey.

Serve the apple mixture in a bowl with a drizzle of the honey nut butter sauce.

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Friday, August 06, 2021

Frugality (Part XVIII): Preserving the Harvest

It has been a while since I last wrote a frugality post. So, hello! If you want to go back and read some of the ideas I had by looking at the list at the bottom of this post. I still haven't gone back to put the photos back in, but will get to those as I can.

One of the best ways to take advantage of the abundance of produce in the summer is to dry, freeze, or can it so you will have it in the fall and winter, when those fresh fruits and vegetables are not available. Even if you don't have a dedicated food dryer, you can use your oven with a little care. Early in our marriage, I used our biggest stock pot with a folded towel in the bottom of it to water bath our preserves.

One thing to remember is that only high acid or high sugar foods can be canned with a boiling water bath. There are plenty of resources online for safe canning procedure. One place where I disagree is the use of bottled lemon juice only for acidification. This is unnecessary, unless you are using Meyer lemon juice (which is not acidic enough). All standard lemons available in the US provide an acidity the same or higher than that of bottled lemon juice, and are far superior in flavor.

Most produce is easily prepared for freezing, and not all even need blanching. We regularly wash and slice bell peppers and just freeze them on a sheet, before bagging them up for the freezer, for instance. We have a vacuum sealer, thanks to my brother in law, but you can just as easily use freezer bags and press out as much air as possible and have them last quite a while. Tomatoes, also, can be washed, cored, and frozen whole on a sheet pan, then bagged and used in soups and stews and sauces all winter long. The skins slip off quite easily when they have thawed a little, and then off you go. Blueberries can be frozen whole in their baskets, and then put into bags. This presumes that you have the freezer space. However, if you do, it is a good and quick way to make sure you have summer produce, at its peek flavor and lowest cost, throughout the year.

Last year, our boys helped harvest at a farm for a farmer's market, and every week, they came home with crates and crates of peppers, hot peppers, onions, tomatoes, summer squash, eggplant, melons, winter squash, you name it. We put up almost a year's worth of frozen, sliced peppers from just a few weeks of their work, and it saved us almost $300 in peppers that we normally would have bought from Trader Joe's (which are still an excellent deal and product). It was only this summer that we started to have to buy any.

In the following recipes, you will note that I recommend using Pomona's Universal Pectin. I like this product, because you do not have to use nearly the amount of sugar that is required for the other pectin products on the market. This means that your fruit preserves taste more like the fruit than the sugar. It also cuts the cost a little, and reduces the amount of refined sugar in your diet. We order ours through Azure Standard, but if you cannot do so, you can order it online directly or find it locally, that would be even better.

Blueberry Orange Preserves*

I make this either with lemon juice and a little nutmeg, or with orange juice and zest. Either is delicious. If you don't have time to can in the summer, or if it is too hot in your kitchen to do so, you can easily use frozen berries that were gotten in the summer. This makes a good amount of preserves. I make this in pint jars, because we eat a lot of it at a time in our home. However, if you want to make this in half pint jars, the canning time is the same. It makes us about 5 pints of preserves, with a little dish of leftovers that we put in the fridge to eat immediately.

9 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
3/4 cup fresh orange juice
zest of the oranges you juiced
4 1/2 teaspoons calcium water (from the Pomona's pectin)

6 cups sugar
4 teaspoons Pomona's Universal pectin powder

Place blueberries, orange juice, orange zest, and calcium water in a large stock pot. Stir to combine and bring to a boil over medium to medium-high heat.

While the berries are coming to a boil, mix together the sugar and pectin powder in a bowl and set aside.

When the berries have come to a full, rolling boil, add the sugar and pectin mixture and stir to mix thoroughly. Return the mixture to a boil, then remove from heat, stir down a little, and pour into hot, sterilized jars, leaving 1/4" headspace. Wipe rims and cover with new lids. Screw on rings to finger tightness, not too tightly, just enough to keep the lids on before they are sealed.

Process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes. Cool upright, remove rings and check seals, and store without the rings.

*If you wish to make this with lemon and nutmeg, simply replace the orange juice and zest with the juice of a large lemon and a teaspoon of nutmeg.

Canned Peach or Apricot Halves in Medium-Light Syrup

This same process can be used for apricots. It is a really simple process, and if you have another set of hands in the kitchen to help you scald, peel and stone your fruit, it will go even more quickly. This syrup recipe is sufficient for at least 15 quarts. I can usually fit about 2 - 3 pounds of peaches or apricots in each quart jar. If you like spiced peaches or apricots, you can add a broken stick of cinnamon or the little scrappy end of a grated nutmeg that is always so hard to grate completely into the bottom of the jar before you put the peaches or apriots in it. You can make less than this, quite easily, but we tend to get multiple, big boxes of peaches, and this is a good and fast way to put them up for the winter, while still leaving us enough to eat fresh, make into pies, cookies, and cakes, and add to oatmeal.

Syrup:
4 cups sugar
11 cups water

40 pounds of peaches or apricots, scored on the top and bottom to make peeling easier

Make syrup in a large stock pot by bringing the sugar and water to a boil and boiling for 2 minutes, then removing from the heat.

In another pot, bring water to a rolling boil, and place a single layer of the fruit in the pot. Cook for 30 - 45 seconds after returning to a boil and immediately remove the fruit to a platter or ice water bath. The skins should come off rather easily on the peaches. Sometimes, it is not so easy on the apricots. Often, I simply wash and scald the apricots to make sure there is no dirt or bacteria on the outside, and can them with the peels on them. Slice the fruit in half and remove the pits.

Pack hot, sterilized quart jars tightly with the peach or apricot halves. Then add a few more than you thought would fit. They always seem to float a little, no matter how tightly we pack them. Ladle in the hot syrup, leaving 1/2" headspace in the jars. Using a thin knife, or skewer, poke down through the jars to release air bubbles. Wipe rims and cover with new lids. Screw on rings to finger tightness, not too tightly, just enough to keep the lids on before they are sealed.

Process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes. Cool upright, remove rings and check seals, and store without the rings.

Method for Preparing Fruit for Jelly and Butter:

This jelly process is tied to the butter process and can be used with any stone fruit, like apricots, plums, nectarines, and so on. I learned it from a virtual friend on a food group online more than 23 years ago. It is a way to get two preserves from one batch of fruit, and is really lovely. It doesn't matter how much fruit you have, as you can make it work for any amount. However, I like to have at least two quarts of fruit to begin with, as it provides enough juice for this amount of jelly. This is one of the only reasons I ever use our microwave (tempering chocolate and heating milk for yogurt are the other two). You won't get as much juice from this as you would from steaming or boiling it, but it will be much more concentrated and flavorful. We have so many pitted cherries in our freezer that I think I will try this method with the cherries for making both jelly and butter as an experiment.

Peel and pit the fruit (for peaches/nectarines, for plums and apricots, I leave the peel on) - see how I scald peaches above for a method, and put it in a big glass, microwavable bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap. I microwave it for about 20 - 25 minutes, check on it, and maybe microwave five minutes more, until the juice starts to release well. If your microwave is more powerful than ours, you may want to do your 25 minutes at 10 minute intervals. Then I put the fruit in a jelly strainer over a bowl, and collect all the juice. You won't get as much as if you were treating the fruit only to get juice, but it means you can get juice and pulp at the same time, and it starts the process for the butter, of eliminating some of the liquid, right off the bat.

Once all the juice is strained out, I make jelly with it as follows (the yield on this recipe is about 3 pints, or an equivalent amount of half-pint jars):

Peach Jelly

5 cups peach juice (extracted using the method above)
juice of 1 large lemon (about 1/4 cup), strained to remove seeds
5 teaspoons calcium water (from the Pomona's pectin)

1 1/4 cup sugar
5 teaspoons Pomona's Universal pectin powder

Bring peach juice, lemon juice and calcium water to a boil in a large pot, over medium-high heat.

While the juice coming to a boil, mix together the sugar and pectin powder in a bowl and set aside.

When the juice has come to a full, rolling boil, add the sugar and pectin mixture and stir to mix thoroughly. Return the mixture to a boil, then remove from heat and skim off any foam (we save that to eat ourselves when we are finished canning). Ladle into hot, sterilized jars, leaving 1/4" headspace. Wipe rims and cover with new lids. Screw on rings to finger tightness, not too tightly, just enough to keep the lids on before they are sealed.

Process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes. Cool upright, remove rings and check seals, and store without the rings.

Peach Butter

This process is highly interruptible, but while it is cooking, you cannot leave it. However, you can turn it off and take it off the heat, and even put it in the fridge and get back to it again the next day. I can these in pints or quarts, again because of our family size. If you eat less than that in a few sittings, I would make this in half-pints and pints.

Prepare fruit acording to the method above.

For the butter, I purée or grind the fruit, and put it in a heavy bottomed pan, and heat it over the lowest heat possible. I add half the volume of the fruit in sugar, and the strained juice of 1 lemon for every 4 - 5 cups of fruit. You could use lime juice or vinegar, or whatever you like. It brightens it a bit. Cook down, stirring occasionally, and more frequently the closer to the consistency you want. I reduce the volume by about a third or so.

I like to add nutmeg to the peach and nectarine, I like to add cardamom to the plum, apricot can be left pretty plain. Of course, you can use whatever you like, but I use about a teaspoon to a teaspoon and a half of ground spice for about 5 cups of puree.

Ladle the hot butter into hot, sterilized quart or pint jars, leaving 1/2" headspace in the jars. Using a thin knife, or skewer, poke down through the jars to release air bubbles. Wipe rims and cover with new lids. Screw on rings to finger tightness, not too tightly, just enough to keep the lids on before they are sealed.

Process in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes for pints, 20 minutes for quarts. Cool upright, remove rings and check seals, and store without the rings.

Blackberry Peach Jam*

This can be made with frozen berries, as well as fresh, so can be made at your convenience. It is super tasty and I also make a variation with blueberries. The recipe yields about 7 - 8 pints, or an equivalent of half-pints.

8 cups diced peaches
6 cups blackberries
2 tablepoons calcium water (from the Pomona's pectin)

7 cups sugar
3 tablepoons Pomona's Universal pectin powder

Place peaches, blackberries, and calcium water in a large stock pot. Stir to combine and bring to a boil over medium to medium-high heat.

While the fruit is coming to a boil, mix together the sugar and pectin powder in a bowl and set aside.

When the fruit has come to a full, rolling boil, add the sugar and pectin mixture and stir to mix thoroughly. Return the mixture to a boil, then remove from heat, stir down a little, and pour into hot, sterilized jars, leaving 1/4" headspace. Wipe rims and cover with new lids. Screw on rings to finger tightness, not too tightly, just enough to keep the lids on before they are sealed.

Process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes. Cool upright, remove rings and check seals, and store without the rings.

*If you wish to make this with blueberries, use 9 cups of blueberries with the same amount of peaches tossed with the strained juice of 1 lemon, and 3 tablespoons of the calcium water. Mix 8 cups of sugar with the same amount of pectin powder. Follow the process as for this recipe.

Blackberry Lime Jam

I make a blackberry lime pie and figured it would make a tasty jam, and it does. I use more sugar in this than in other recipes, to compensate for the tartness of the lime. This recipe makes about 7 half pints. They make fabulous Christmas gifts.

4 limes, zested and sections scooped out, keeping any juice from scooping out the sections
6 cups blackberries, crushed
2 tablepoons calcium water (from the Pomona's pectin)

6 cups sugar
2 1/2 tablepoons Pomona's Universal pectin powder

Place blackberries, lime sections, juice and zest, and calcium water in a large stock pot. Stir to combine and bring to a boil over medium to medium-high heat.

While the berries are coming to a boil, mix together the sugar and pectin powder in a bowl and set aside.

When the berries have come to a full, rolling boil, add the sugar and pectin mixture and stir to mix thoroughly. Return the mixture to a boil, then remove from heat, stir down a little, and pour into hot, sterilized jars, leaving 1/4" headspace. Wipe rims and cover with new lids. Screw on rings to finger tightness, not too tightly, just enough to keep the lids on before they are sealed.

Process in a boiling water bath for 5 minutes. Cool upright, remove rings and check seals, and store without the rings.

Crabapple Jelly

We used to be able to glean the most beautiful crabapples at a park where our midwife held her annual picnic. I have a great, out of print, cookbook of fancy preserving, and it had a recipe for crabapple jelly in it. We took her recipe and ran with it to match our tastes, and this is the result. The jelly in jars looks like stained glass, and it was one of my favorite items to include in Christmas gifts. There is so much pectin in crabapples that you do not need to add any. However, it does make the process faster, so you can look up a recipe for apple or crabapple jelly that includes it if you want to speed up this method. The recipe as written makes about 10 half pint jars of jelly. Again, I tend to make them in pints for our family and the half pints as gifts.

3 pounds red skinned crabapples
8 cups water
juice of 1 lemon, strained
6 1/2 cups sugar

Stem, wash and quarter the crabapples and place in a medium stock pot. Remove any bruised spots from the apples before placing them in the pot, but leave the cores. Add the water, just covering the fruit. Bring to a boil and cover, over medium heat, for about 45 to 60 minutes, until the apples are very soft. Stir and mash them up a bit occasionally.

Ladle the fruit and juice into a jelly bag over a large bowl and let the juice drip a few hours on the counter or overnight in the fridge, until the flow stops. It is alright to press a tiny bit on the bag, but you don't want to press too hard or you will get pulp and your jelly will be cloudy. Stir the juice of the lemon into the apple juice. Measure the juice for volume, you should have around 9 cups.

Pour the juice into a large, heavy bottomed pot, and mix in the sugar until it has all dissolved. Then turn the heat to high and bring to a boil. Boil rapidly, about 10 - 15 minutes, or until it passes the jelly test or measures about 220˚ F with a candy thermometer (at standard altitude and pressure). Remove from heat and skim off any foam (we save that in a dish for us to eat immediately). Ladle into hot, sterilized jars, leaving 1/4" headspace. Wipe rims and cover with new lids. Screw on rings to finger tightness, not too tightly, just enough to keep the lids on before they are sealed.

Process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes. Cool upright, remove rings and check seals, and store without the rings.


Previous Posts:
Make it at Home
Grocery Shopping
Waste Not, Want Not
Soup
The Celery Stalks at Midnight
Use What You Have
Combining Trips
Storing Bulk Purchases
Turn It Off
Grow Your Own
Buying in Bulk
Gleaning
Entertainment on the Down Low
Finding Fun Locally
Holiday Shopping
Reconsidering Convenience
More Bang for Your Grocery Buck

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Thursday, August 05, 2021

Craft On: Not a Rule Follower

So, it turns out that I cannot follow my own directions. I started this blanket as a baby present, and knew I was making it in a finer yarn, so I added an extra repeat of the pattern. Then, I thought I had found an error in the pattern, but it turns out I just didn't follow the instructions in my own pattern. So, now, this blanket does not have a border all around it. However, it is still lovely, and will be a beautiful blanket to wrap a sweet babe.

August is supposed to be one of my sabbatical months, and I should not be knitting any design work, but I have a quick hat on the needles, which should be ready for the tech editor within a week or so. Then, I will get back to only this baby blanket and knitting patterns from other designers.

Crafts of the Kingdom: Culture and Creativity in Saudi Arabia (for free shipping, get the gift wrapping for $5, which will save you about $7 from the shipping costs) arrived four days late, thanks to Fed Ex. However, I am really enjoying it and already have so many ideas from this book as well. It is a delightful study of traditional handcrafts in Saudi Arabia, with interviews with modern artisans and examples of both antique and modern work. Everything from embroidery, bead work, metal work, wood burning, wood carving, plaster carving, leather work, painting, and ceramics, and more are covered in this book. I am making good progress in Desert Queen and the kids and I are nearly finished with Anne of the Island.


Linking to Unraveled Wednesday.

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Sunday, August 01, 2021

Menu Plan: August 1 - 7

Here we are in August, and I need to get planning for school this fall. It has snuck up on me. Preparation for the Dormition Feast has also snuck up on me. I can't believe that the feast of the Transfiguration is this Friday and that the feast of the Dormition is in only two weeks!

Last week brought some unexpected, but actually timely, heat and we had a ton of leftovers, so I have moved some meals to this week and we are trying to fit some of the meals in later. We do have a couple hot days this week, too, so I am planning meals that can be grilled or cooked earlier in the day and eaten reheated or cold.

Since we are now counting down until Jerome gets to add things back to his diet, our world at home has gotten a little brighter. He gets to try eggs again at the end of October. I don't know who is more excited about him getting back to normal again, he or I.

What is on your menu this week? If you want a recipe, ask and I will provide it as soon as I can. If there are any starred recipes, I will follow up separately with a weekly recipe round up on Saturday. Linking to Menu Plan Monday

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