Thursday, April 26, 2012

After my Jams and Jellies class!

We used my granddad's apples to make this really pretty pink apple jelly. After making the juice you just add sugar. My jelly did not set up as well because I could not choose from ripe and unripe apples. The perfect ration would be 3/4 ripe and 1/4 unripe so there is enough pectin in the skin and core. Pectin and sugar are what cause the jelly to gel. The combination has to be just right to achieve the proper consistency. I read that powdered pectin might set up better than liquid. I'll have to experiment with that!

These are beautiful!! I tasted it before I canned it and it was great! I have not opened it yet because I am not ready to eat it. They look beautiful in my cabinet. I also printed labels from the computer so those who took my class could put their name on the top.

We also made raspberry jam. Jam I'd made from crushed berries rather than from the fruit juice which is how you make jelly. It is very easy if you have planed your own fruit. Usually you have to have double the amount needed because you will crust them down. Which if you are buying can be rather expensive. But the result is beautiful! The jam set up really well because we added pectin which I bought at Walmart, but can also be found at your local hardware store. Both were put in a boiling water bath for less than 15 minutes so the jars have to sterilize the jars. I just put them in the dishwasher.

If you are interested in canning you can do some research in both of these books! The USDA has the Complete Guide to Home Canning on their website so check that out for free. The Ball Bule Book is good too. They are a little over $6.00.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Making jelly

I am making apple juice from my grandaddy's apple straight from his orchard! The juice I am making will be used to flavor the jelly I will be making tomorrow in my canning class.

Here is how my juice is looking so far. I took the apples and simmered them in a little bit of water -1 cup of water for every heaping quart. Then you pour the apples and water through cheese cloth. I took the cheese cloth and pulled it up around the apples.

There is the bag hanging from the cabinet. After this drips or at least until bed time I have to bring it to 190 degrees to pasteurize it with heat. This will kill any E coli O157 H:7. I will let you know how the jelly turns out!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Chicks at the office

Look at how cute these guys are. They showed up at our office after the schools hatched them. The Cooperative Extension 4-H program provides classrooms with an incubator, and eggs to teach students about embryology. I think it is so cool and one day I will be taking on of these guys home. 

This guy is really cut, but cute comes with poop! Almost all the pictures have poop in them! It is just like any animal. I don't think they poop nearly as much as the rabbits I once had. Oh and I am going to have a rabbit again one day. You know there poop is really good fertilizer for the garden. 

It is so hard to work when theses guys are around.

I grew that!

I grew herbs in my window in the living room! They are doing so good. I decided I wanted to use them fresh. Way different from the dried stuff that McCormick sells. Turned out way better. 

I am growing Parsley, Basil, and Cilantro. The basil went into the spaghetti sauce I made. I put the Parsley on the garlic bread and toasted it. OMG! Good! I had a great dinner to night.

I want to grow a lot of my own food. These herbs were my first experiment. I think Tomatoes and Pepper will grow will well on my porch. I have already planted a rose bush that I want to grow up and over the railing. It would give me a little more privacy from the road. 

Painting Pottery

Owen and I went to Glazin Go Nuts at milepost 6 and made these! Mine is a coffee mug with fish on it and Owen made a noodle bowl with dog prints on the outside. I love to paint my own pottery. So much fun!

Close up! We did a good job!