Earlier in the year I put up mayhaws in quart size freezer bags, for later jelly making. Today, I thought, would be the day to fill the jelly cupboard. Well…
I have been extremely tired, TIREDall week. It’s Saturday and the bed was really comfortable. Marigold needed to go out at 6 this morning, but I went back to bed. Just A few minutes more of sleep, I told myself. Didn’t get up till a quarter to 9. I never sleep that late. Guess I needed the extra rest.
The usual big farmhouse breakfast was skipped this morning. Marigold missed her Saturday bacon.
Anyway, I gathered supplies to make the jelly, placed the berries in the Dutch oven to cook down. Being tired, I had trouble staying focused. Multitasking is usually my strong suit, but I got distracted and the berries burned, stuck to the pot burned. Cue the sad music.
Sad for a minute, all was not lost. Juice in the freezer was put in a freshly cleaned Dutch oven and I started over. And now my jelly cupboard runneth over.
It has been a busy day in the Exile’s Kitchen. Fresh bell peppers were cored, blanched, shocked and placed in freezer bags for future meals.
Jalapeno peppers were made into jars of pepper jelly.
A simple recipe, here is what I did:
Finely chop 1 small red bell pepper. In a blender, puree 1 cup jalapeno peppers that have been seeded and deveined. Place both kinds of peppers in an 8 quart pot. Over medium high heat, add 1 1/2 cups white vinegar. Bring this to a boil and add a box of Sure-Jell. Stir in, gradually, 6 cups of white sugar and a 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Return mixture to a boil and add a few drops of pink food coloring, if you wish. Ladle into hot sterilized jars, seal with lids and waterbath process for 5 minutes. Remove from canner and wait for sound of the lids sealing. That delightful, happy pop is so satifying. I taste tested with a potato chip in place of cracker.
Next in the recipe line up was Easy oatmeal Cookies. This recipe makes a bunch, sure to fill up your favorite cookie jar.
Preheat oven to 350° and line cookie sheets with parchment paper. In a big mixer bowl, cream together 1/2 cup butter, 1/4 cup lard, 1 egg and 1/2cup brown sugar and a teaspoon of cinnamon. Add 1 yellow cake mix, 2 cups quick oats, 1/4 cup of dried craisins, raisins, salted sunflower seeds and pecans. Incorporate well. Using a cookie scoop, drop onto parchment lined cookie sheets. Using a small glass dipped into granulated sugar, gently press each cookie. These cookies spread a little, so don’t crowd them. Bake until golden brown, about 12 to 15 minutes. Cool 1 minute on cookie sheet, then move to a rack to finish cool.
I haven’t written about Marigold in a while. She made three years in late March. An easy going bloodhound, she’s a good companion in all ways but one: riding in the car. She enjoys the car ride, but alerts everyone on the streets that she’s out for a ride. Saturday afternoon was no exception. Big barks, happy whimpers, nose smudges on the windows; she fills the back seat.
Just before getting to a crossroads, I saw a long white hearse, followed by a big white van. Oh no, I thought. A funeral procession, followed by many cars with their lights on. Now, in our part of the world, it is a courtesy to pull onto the shoulder of the road, as the funeral passes. So, our progress to our destination was delayed. Marigold doesn’t like to wait. Here was her reaction.
Here is something I am good at.
Blessings for a great August from the Exile’s Kitchen.
No churn ice cream taken up to the top level, with mayhaw syrup swirled in. Last week was blueberry homemade ice cream, this week mayhaw. Such a pretty pink. The berry taste of mayhaw makes this ice cream a delightful change from your ordinary chocolate or vanilla. Follow the recipe for my No-churn Ice Cream from Try These Two Together, using a simple syrup made with the juice of mayhaws and sugar.
After picking two gallons of blueberries the conventional way, staining figures purple, sweat covering our brows and running between shoulder blades, a brilliant thought entered our collective heads.
“Don’t they have machines in commercial blueberry fields to shake the berries off?” my middle son asked.
“Yes, I believe they do,” I answered. “How ’bout you go in the house and get a sheet and we’ll spread it under the bushes and shake them by hand.”
Eureka! Plump purple berries bounced to the tarps; it worked like a charm. Of course, there were sticks to clear from the gathering of berries, but still a good method for berry picking.
For our Independence Day celebration, my no-churn ice cream recipe got a new flavor. I mixed about a cup of fresh blueberries, 1/2 cup sugar, and 1/2 cup water and cooked that down into a syrup. Cooled a little bit, the blueberry syrup was swirled into the whipped cream and sweetened condensed milk. Here’s my recipe No-churn Ice Cream
Fourth of July Blessings from the Exile’s Kitchen.
I can’t not talk about the weather. It takes hold of everyday life and changes my plans. A tropical storm started out on one side of the country Amanda, crossed the Ucitan and became Cristobol, bringing with it rain and high winds.
The storm knocked down most of my flower patch. Roots are exposed. Plants, still living, are growing crooked. The stems travel along the ground, but the bloom at the end turns upward, trying to face the sun. I will endeavor this weekend to righten the storms battering. Wooden stakes, jute twine, hammer and elbow grease should do the trick.
This is a picture of what our nation is going through. We are battered by a storm whose name keeps changing. We’re knocked down. Running low. But at the end, we need to look upward.
Blessings for a safe weekend from the Exile’s Kitchen.
Summer is knocking on the door, with its great big yella hand. The yellow eyes of the daisies and cosmos are bright. The yellow squash is abundant. It has already graced our supper plates this week. I hear Bubba reciting various squash dishes: fried squash, stewed squash, squash casserole, squash hushpuppies.
A craft project of refurbishing old metal chairs, using cans of spray paint, lacks at least one being yellow. Weather permitting, I’ll get that done this weekend. The sunflowers have come up, along with old maid zinnias; no blooms to show yet.
Beginnings of my potager. Raised beds made from reclaimed 100 year old tongue and groove boards and same-age former fireplace bricks. Started in February, planted in March and blooming in May. I see supper.