Mixed fruit jam

I had some apricots and peaches that were quickly spiraling down the path to spoilage.  I cut them up and parked them in the fridge for the night. 
My family was in town from Washington this week, and my dad brought me a bowl of his home-grown raspberries.  We enjoyed a bunch in yogurt and over ice cream, and then I added the rest to the peaches and apricots. I also threw in some local strawberries that need to be used up. 
I went searching for Pomona's Pectin, but couldn't find any at the time (I later found some at a garden store and in my own cupboard..*eye roll* I should look more closely next time).  Since I couldn't find any at the time I decided to try making jam without pectin. I followed the guidelines I found on the Food in Jars website for small batch jam.  I ended up cooking the fruit in two batches so that I was more assured of getting it to gel. I added in a sprinkling of lemon balm leaves, but they discolored in the final product so I think I will leave that out next time. 

I am grateful to my grandparents who passed down this half size canner to me last month because I have a stove with an attached oven right above it and I can't get my big canner under it and still be able to put stuff in or take stuff out of the canner. This half size canner made it possible for me to can. 
And the finished product!  I like to can jam in smaller jars because we don't go through it that quickly, and if you give it as a gift you can give several small jars that way there is a variety. I also have two of the little jars in the fridge to use now. I made some thumbprint cookies that the jam goes well with. 

I will put up pictures of the greenhouse later- it looks amazing. First I need to go figure out what to do with several pounds of pie cherries.  Oh, and I will have the farmers' market post and a garden update later as well. 



Lots of things have been happening around here, and I made sure to take pictures, but they are currently stuck on the iphone, which my husband has with him at work.  So, updates will have to wait until tomorrow.  Canning, jamming, poppies, and green houses are coming!


This week at the farmers market: 7/9/13

I thought I would start a weekly feature and show what I buy each week at the farmers' market since I love shopping there.  I try to do most of my shopping for the week either there or at my favorite farm stand. Since the farm stand is only open one afternoon a week and it happens to be the same afternoon as the farmers' market, I just make one big trip each week. So here is what I got this week: 

1 dozen eggs (freshly laid today), 1 head of napa cabbage, big container of strawberries, 1 bunch of carrots, several heads of broccoli, 3 zucchini, 1 cucumber, 2 peppers, 2lbs apricots, and 2lbs peaches.  I also got a few treats: 1 freshly squeezed lemonade, 1 freshly squeezed organic orange juice, and 1 apricot walnut puff pastry. I would have gotten cherries, but they were sold out by the time I got there.

I'm still deciding what I want to do with it all- so many possibilities.  I think the cabbage will turn into a chinese cabbage salad since I actually have toasted sesame oil in the house and the salad holds up well in the heat (unlike mayo based salads).  My family is coming to town this weekend and we are going to a lake on Sunday so cabbage salad would be great to take to that.  I can't decide if I want to can any of the apricots or dry them instead. I have cashews that need to be used so I think a slightly tweaked version of Joy the Baker's Vegan Cream of Broccoli soup sounds good. In the past I've made zucchini fritters with a yogurt dipping sauce that turned out really well and since I have goat milk to make yogurt with, the fritters will probably be made again. The carrots, pepper, and cucumber will go well with all the lettuce I have growing for salads, although I was thinking of making a quick refrigerator pickle with the cucumber.  Any other ideas? What would you do with all that produce?  What's growing in your area?


Knitting and reading

     I'm knitting the one thing I know how to knit- a washcloth with only knit stitches, which I think (?) is called garter stitch. The yarn is a mix of some of my favorite colors. 
     I'm reading a book I got at the Mother Earth News Fair where I heard the author, Stephanie Tourles, speak (and she passed around some of these concoctions- it smelled amazing in that room!). It is about herbal topical remedies. Herbs are one of my favorite topics and this is chock full of good recipes. It is organized by condition so you can pick cold and flu, burns, etc and there will be remedies for that ailment. If you are interested in herbal medicine like I am I also strongly recommend anything by Rosemary Gladstar.  I've been hearing good things about "How to Move like a Gardner" by Deb Soule so I will be trying to check that out soon.  Stephanie Tourles has a few other books as well, a couple of which I have and couple of which I would like. This one is by far my favorite of the ones I have. 

Joining Ginny's yarn along today.



It has been hot. Simple and quick meals are in order. This can work for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Most of the ingredients are local as well. 
I went to the farm stand today and the only eggs they had left were 4 turkey eggs. I thought they would be interesting to try. I picked some lambs quarters, basil, sage, rosemary, chives, and one pea. I sautéed all of that in butter with green onions and young garlic that I had chopped and frozen. Then I added salt, pepper, and some local raw milk cheddar cheese. I toasted some new to me gluten free bread and then rubbed it with garlic and a little butter. Added some fruit (local strawberries) to the mix and it was a yummy, healthy 5-10 minute meal.