Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Midweek Babbles......

Gentle readers... we have once again reached our mid-week!!! Woo Hoo!! Life goes on ......

Last night we ran out to the mall and I picked up a copy of Majesty - a magazine about the English Royal family, one of my many interests as you well know. We stopped by Micky D's for dinner - you just need some junque food every now and then. :) Then is was on to a small shopping stop a Trader Joes. We really enjoy shopping ther as they have some super great stuff. One of the things we always pick up when we go are these flat pizza things - a thin crispy cracker like crust with just some cheese and ham bits on it. I should have taken a snap as I can't seem to find one on the net or even remember then name of the dang thing - one will be here tomorrow. They seem to be very popular - every time we stop in to get some the spot for them in the freezer section is often either very low or they are restocking an empty spot. Yesterday we took three of the last five that where there. Such an easy dinner with a big salad!!

The flicker for last night was "Tonight we Raid Calais" - 1943 - starring Anabella and John Sutton. Now, we all know how I enjoy WWII flicks - this falls into that genre - however - this very low budget B picture is so contrived and wooden and VERY hard to believe - that at times is laughable. At 70 mins it moves right along, but this ain't no masterpiece!! Be warned!!

I am still stitching away at exchange pieces - the snaps of stitchity stuff are so rare these days you would think my camera is broken!!

I had a couple of questions recently - one was about the linen I choose for my Halloween RR - My memory which is so very sieve like at times came through - It is a piece of Birds of a Feather "Meadowlark" and is 32 ct not 36 ct. I think the BoF linen is so pretty and the splotchy areas a great. I still have to hand it to Mary from NiaH for helping me pick this out!!

I also got some questions about the recipes I used for the jam/preserve making last Saturday. What I did was read a bunch of recipes online last week to see what the similarities where in each version I found. For the cherry jam I took a basic recipe that started out with the title "No Recipe Cherry Jam" by David Lebovitz. I used his basic technique for mine. The only change I made was I used less sugar ... as the cherries I had were very sweet. The recipe was easy and straight forward - and if I can do it any one can!

For the Peach Preserve I cobbled together a few recipes and ended up with an edgar recipe - Start off with 4-6 pounds of peaches. Bring a pot of water to boil. Put a few peaches at a time in this for a minute or so then take them out and plunge them into cold water. This lets you take the skin off easily. Remove the pits and slice up the peaches. Put the sliced peaches in a large heavy bottomed pot. Pour sugar over the peaches. At this point I also added the juice of two medium lemons. Now the amount of sugar you use depends on the sweetness of the peaches you are using. These where quite sweet so the ratio of 1lb of sugar to 1lb of peaches (remember 1lb of sugar equals just 2 cups) I did not use. What I used was more like 1 1/4 cups sugar to each lb more or less - remember its your preserve you decide. Bring the sugar/peach mixture to a boil. Continue to boil this while stirring frequently so that it does not burn or boil over. While it was boiling away at about 20 minutes I took a potato masher and squished the mix to the point there where only a few big pieces. I wanted this to be spreadable and not be some sort of lumpy bumpy mess. Most recipes state that the mixture should start to get there at about 45 minutes. I noticed it was getting there at 25 mins or so. I only boiled it for about 30 or so mins. I didn't want it to be too thick. I read over and over again this mantra "The faster you cook the jam the brighter the color will be." I really believe that quickly cooking this and just under cooking made this stuff just the consistency and color I wanted. Rico popped one open and we have had it on vanilla ice cream the last couple of nights - and it is really good!!! Once again I made all of this stuff in the morning on Saturday spending about 3 or so hours total - these preserves should hold for about a year, but I don't see them making it that long.

I used a water bath canning method - after the jam/preserve was ready I took a clean jar and poured the stuff into them wiping off the rim before putting the lid and rim on. Once the lid and rim where on I carefully put them two at a time into my water bath of boiling water for about 10 or so minutes. After the water bath I left them on the counter an waited till all of them made the plunk sound of sealing. They all plunked so that worked really well. I found both of these recipes easy to make and would recommend anyone take the plunge a try to make some of their own. If you have a question or the above is not too clear feel free to ask.

There you go - Thanks for stopping by!!

Take care,


Addie said...

Thank you for sharing your jam recipes with us. When making jam, I think my problem is that I always overcook the syrup since I'm afraid it'll be too runny. I'll try your method.

staci said...

Thanks Edgar for all the good jam tips. I may just give it a shot since peaches are so abundant right now!

Gaynor said...

I find it strange that people are still fans of the royal family...not because they shouldnt be, but because we used to work on the Sandringham Estate for them and to us they are just the bosses. I have to say the ones we have met were is their hangers-on who seem to have a stick up their bums.
They do a lot for the communities and the environments where they have homes and a lot of people rely on them for employment..something the anti-royals seem to have no knowledge off. Good for you!

Kielrain said...

Good jam recipies. I do like making jam. still need to find out a good one for plums. Though it is way too hot to do anything like that right now. At least my quince get ripe when it is cool and jamming is more comfortable to do.

Lisa P said...

Peach Jam is my favorite. Sounds delicious!