Not much

Mango peach jam!

Not much describes the crafting I’ve done this month.  Honestly, it’s been a horrible month because my mom’s health has worsened significantly.  I do the bulk of the care work and between working my “real” job and that, my “life” has fallen to the wayside.  Now, I don’t plan on this continuing for too long since I deserve better, but for now the fun bits are curtailed.  Not gone, but diminished.

That depressing shit doesn’t mean I can’t make jam.  Here is some peach/mango jam that begged to be made with a peach needed to be used.  The mango just happened to be on sale at the grocery and this union was born.  It’s good too! (2 peaches, one mango = 1lb).

I hope to at least finish some knitting projects soon (hello – baby blanket for a two month old!!!!) that really are quite close to done.  Be well.

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First jam!

The before ingredients.

The bounty at the farm down the street isn’t quite ready yet, but luckily Whole Foods had a special on strawberries that I couldn’t resist.  Strawberries, rhubarb (and maybe some Pliny the Elder) jumped into my basket so I had to come home and make a jar of jam.  As usual, one pound of fruit, lowish sugar (scant 1/2c) and no added pectin (except for juice and rind of one lemon) makes one yummy jam.  This strawberry rhubarb is my favorite since it’s nice and tangy.  I may have to make some bread to complement the jam.  Whole Foods seems to have made a lot of work for me!

Hopefully I’ll have a ridiculous franken-patterned dress to share soon.  I should clarify, the dress isn’t ridiculous but the fabric is a novelty print that I couldn’t resist.  Barring any boo boos, it should be done soon.

The delicious after.

More jam

Before, after and aftermath.

I think I’ve got jam on the brain. I suppose there are worth things.

This batch of jam (and by batch I mean just that one jar) was made necessary because of some excessive buying of Greenstring Farm plums. They’re very delicious, but it turns out that I can only eat so many plums and I buy them ripe.  So hurry!  Make some jam.  I used the ripest plums, an overripe nectarine, a really ripe apricot and a handful of strawberries in this batch.

I followed the basic jam making directions found on this site because I find they’re straightforward and make sense to me.  I use 1/2 cup sugar, 16 oz. cut up fruit and the juice and peel of one lemon.  That is all it takes to make a jar of jam. This batch is super tangy and nice and fruity.  The only thing I did differently this time is to use the immersion blender to squash up the fruit.  Berries are easy to squish with a fork, but these plums and friends didn’t want to squish.  The immersion blender blended the hell out of that fruit, so I worried that I’d be making some awful goop.  But the jam gods smiled upon my experiment and it thickened up nicely.  I can’t wait for breakfast tomorrow!

I also found myself with too much zucchini.  I’m sure this is a common situation in many households.  I cracked open my Moosewood Restaurant Book of Desserts and found azucchinicake Zucchini Spice Cake recipe.  It’s super delicious and a bundt cake!  I chose this recipe because they use butter instead of vegetable oil to make the cake, which is my preference.  Many zucchini bread recipes just are kind of yuck and heavy and chewy.  This is a nice cake.  I used cake flour (since I don’t have pastry flour) and 1.5 cups of ground almonds (not toasted because I couldn’t be bothered).  The zucchini makes the cake moist but doesn’t add much to the flavor, so it’s basically a moist spice cake.  I suspect this will be a good “keeper” when I want a treat without firing up the oven.  I cut most of the cake into pieces, wrapped them in plastic wrap then put them all into a ziplock bag (just like Martha Stewart taught me).  They should be good for weeks!  Who knew too much zucchini would be so delicious.