Thursday, July 5, 2012

The Other Side of Life

This last 5 days has been a whirlwind!  I finished the goat house (post coming--I promise!), I made some citronella candles (have you seen the prices on them this year?  HOLY COW!!), did some soap making prep (you'll see--I hope!), watered the gardens because now it never rains here, and watered the animals every 10 minutes--or that's what it felt like.  When did I move to Florida?  I don't remember. 

But my life isn't all building and gardening, though it seems that way a lot of the time.  Sometimes I get to spend the day in the kitchen and do something equally labor intensive, but without the potential for bug bites.  Of which I have gotten MANY this summer.  Ugh.

Anyway, Tuesday I spent in the kitchen, turning these:

and these:

Ok, I didn't use the garlic scapes.  You got me!

Into all of this:

Blueberry jam, Blueberry Lime jam, Blueberry Orange jam, and Blueberry Honey jam. 

Oh baby! 

All will be for sale in our newsletter with the exception of the Blueberry Honey.  If I sell any of that, I believe my children will hunt me down.  It's that good.  My daughter practically eats the stuff out of the jar with a spoon, THAT's how good it is.

It's really, really good. 

Did I say that already?

Anywho, I also had enough blueberries to put aside to make into a pie (today, methinks), some to freeze, and some with which I made a cake that turned out to be a total flop.  I used a new (to me) recipe book that I've been keeping in my cabinet, unused, for years.  I thought I would take her for a spin and make a sour cream coffee cake with blueberries.  Unfortunately, the chimpanzees who wrote the book never tested any of the recipes they wrote, or they never would have had me put buttered brown sugar bits in the bottom of a tube pan, which, of course, has a crack in it around where the center fits into the outside because, duh, it's a tube pan for goodness sakes.  And what happens to butter in the heat?  It melts.  And oozes.  And goes outside the tube pan through the cracks.  To the oven itself.  Which is hot.

See where I'm going with this?

I have one piece of advice for all of you out there.  If you've never heard that baking soda puts out a grease fire, here it is:  Baking soda puts out a grease fire.  You've been advised.

Don't ask me how I know that.

Anyway, after I stopped being a chimpanzee and turned on my brain, I covered the bottom of the leaking tube pan in foil and let the cake finish baking.  After I took it out and let it cool as per the directions, the cake promptly fell down into a heap of blueberry deliciousness.

I recycled said recipe book.

But that was my only failure that day.  The jams are fantastic, and I am pleased.  It was a pleasure canning again, as I haven't since it was strawberry jam making day a few weeks ago.  That is one skill I love to pull out of my brainbox.   I've been canning for years, and it is so nice having all the tools on hand, knowing what I need to do, and just doing it.  Skills are a beautiful thing.

Today, as it's 400 degrees outside yet AGAIN, I will probably make some more citronella candles and work on a couple of batches of soap.  Then I'll weed and water the animals a million times and try not to pass out from the heat.  Joy!

Take care, all of you!  Stay cool!
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  1. These sound wonderful! Thanks for linking up at the Carnival of Home Preserving!

  2. Wow, they all sound yummy. Even the failed cake. You are lucky you have ripe blueberries already. Our huckleberries won't be ripe for another month. Then we will go pick as many as we can in the rain... Because it ALWAYS rains when we pick. It is some unwritten rule somewhere. How did you make the blueberry honey?

  3. Laura-You are welcome. Thank you for hosting. I'll be back, that's for sure!

    Skiffgirl-It's a jam that uses honey in it. The honey gets added kind of at the end, so it still comes through. It's wonderful!!!

  4. Blueberry lime sounds so good. Ever tried Blueberry lemon? I have blueberries right now waiting to be made into jam. I may have to try both. Thanks for the ideas!

  5. Jennifer--I haven't. I have a recipe, and I thought about it, but making a pie seemed more important. :)

    Next year, though.


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