Friday, August 10, 2012

Friday Mishmash - I Be Jammin'

I played Susie Homemaker on Wednesday and canned my own jam.  My first time ever...Lori posted a jam tutorial recently, and as I read it, I thought "I can do that" - so I did.  Let me tell you, it's a bit hectic, with all the peeling and chopping and boiling and more boiling and what the heck was I thinking, doing something that involved standing over boiling pots in this heat?!?  Plus, I am a "clean as you go" cook, and there is not time to do that while you have all these pots boiling on the stove.  But, I persevered, and the result was totally worth it:
PEACH JAM!!!!!
 Yes, I am quite proud of this!
The fixin's - jars, pectin, utensil set (all purchased at Target), lemons and peaches, plus sugar in the background.  Who knew it was this simple???

Jeff came home just as I was putting the labels on the jars - I told him that I almost called him to pick up some vanilla ice cream on his way home, so we could try out the jam.  I swear, not two minutes later I looked up to see him, keys in hand, walking out of the house!  The jam made for a tasty ice cream topping, and the next morning, I had a piece of buttered toast with it, and I swear, it was the best! jam! ever!  OK, I might be slightly biased...
It even LOOKS like jam!  I'm still amazed that I managed to make this.

By the way, the recipe I ended up following is here.  Sure, it's much simpler to buy a jar of jam at the grocery store, but this was an adventure, and I'd do it again, just for the novelty of it.  Thanks for the inspiration, Lori!

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I didn't hear from two of the winners of the Bulu Box, so I did a redraw, and the new winners are: 

Kim (comment #29)

Please email me your mail address ASAP (40somethingsjourney@gmail.com) so I can get this giveaway finished, and y'all can receive your Bulu Boxes.  Congrats, and thanks for playing!

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Sit and Knit update:  I'm loving how this striped baby blanket is turning out - knitting the main color before and after each accent color is so cool!  These are all the colors of the new baby's room, and I think it's great that the mom chose shades that won't look too babyish after just a year or so.  Nearly done with it - I ran out of the main color (the medium blue) and had to order another skein online (apparently I needed one skein of the main color for each skein of accent color - now I know!).  And although weaving in all the ends because of the many color changes seemed daunting at first, it went by pretty quickly thanks to a lot of Olympics watching on TV.
Blue with gray, navy and reddish-orange stripes - and I love how the back of the blanket looks like stitching where the stripes change colors!
So soft and cozy - this yarn (Cascade 128 Superwash Chunky) is great and I'd definitely use it again.

My other baby blanket has taken me forever, and I think it's because the pattern is kinda boring.  Don't get me wrong - I like how it's turning out, but it's on smaller needles than the striped blanket, and it just takes a long time to get through each row.  At least I'm finally on the decrease, which means that eventually the rows will get shorter and shorter (this is knit on the diagonal, if that makes sense).
This is HALF of the blanket, which means I need to step up my knitting on it!  I may weave a soft satin ribbon through the eyelet holes around the edge, just to frill it up even more.  
I was so excited to finally reach the mid-point and start the decrease, which means that I turned the corner, literally.  At least now the end is in sight!

Once these two blankets are finished, I'm going to make a throw for myself.  Because what would make more sense than to knit blankets and throws during the hot hot summer?  Maybe making jam over a hot stove?  Or running outside?  Obviously I don't go for comfort in anything that I do!

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Since I've been busy this week with jammin' and knittin' I don't have a whole lot to post about, so here's just one last thing - squirrels, hanging out in the big tree outside of my window.  I can't get enough of them:
So cute!

Another 5 miles on tap for tomorrow, and it WILL be a better run than last week.  So it is said, so it is true, right?  Have a great weekend!

22 comments:

  1. You are becoming a pro at knitting Shelley. You can do more special stitches than I can. Think I need to take a knitting course. When can I come over?

    I have never made jam but my grandmother did and it is easy but it takes a bit of time. And the taste is so much better.

    Have a good and fun run tomorrow and a great weekend.

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    1. Wouldn't it be fun to knit together? I'm really only doing a yarn over and knitting 2 together on that pink blanket...every time I start a new row, I have to say out loud those steps (K, K2tog, YO, K2tog) and then I'm good to go!

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    2. Knitting after doing a run together, that would be fun indeed.

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  2. Look at you with the jam!! Not a peach fan, or I would be begging you to send me some. It looks really, really good.

    You have become a regular Becky Home-Ecky. LOL! :)

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  3. *FAINTS* *Wakes up and stumbles to keyboard..*

    YOU MADE JAM? You who barely cooks? OMGee you are killing me dead. I love it so much! Lori will be very, very proud of you. I bet that jam would be good on your beloved yogurt too.

    Yes! You are going to rock tomorrow's run! Get yerself a mantra and start it today. Did you see the story about the American relay runner who finished his part with a BROKEN LEG? I'm not kidding. It broke while he was running! He had a mantra: "Faith, focus, finish. Faith, focus, finish. That’s the only thing I could say to myself,” he said.

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    1. I didn't read this comment until after I left mine - I was thinking the same thing Helen! Someone who barely cooks made jam? Love it that great minds think alike - and no offence Shelley! :D

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    2. I knew you two would be shocked! I can't be bothered to grill a chicken breast, but jam? No problem! LOLOL.

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    3. I watched the broken leg guy - that was incredible!!!

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  4. I am SO impressed. I saw Lori's post - still not sure if I would be able to do it! Get 'em girl.

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    1. I was kind of shocked, myself, that it worked out!

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  5. This is certainly a drooly post! Yummmmm to the jam, & the baby blankets are just beautiful, Shelley. Wow. I don't eat a lot of bread, but I am blaming you for the calories from the piece of toast with homemade strawberry jam that I just might have to eat now!

    Didn't look at Lori's recipe; did you think it seemed like a lot of sugar? Can be hard to find canning recipes that use low sugar. Some jellies can be frozen, which makes all the processing easier/shorter.

    A non drooly part of post for me was the squirrels......do you have a chimney & fireplace, Shell? Can't remember. Anyway, from my own too recent personal experience-with that many squirrels around-make sure you have a screen over you chimney. Sigh. Chrissy

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    1. I wondered about the sugar, and thought I followed the recipe I linked to the T, but in my head I was thinking "a cup of sugar for every cup of fruit" - and I had 4 cups of fruit, but I see that the recipe called for 5 cups of sugar. So now I don't know if I made it with less? All jam recipes seem to have a lot of sugar, but honestly, this isn't overly sweet. Maybe that's just the nature of jams? I only used about a tablespoon on my toast, so overall, it's not like you're getting a ton of sugar in a serving. I guess it's all part of a moderately balanced diet? Ima go with that, lol!

      We DO have a chimney, and had to screen it years ago because of birds who came down and INTO THE HOUSE. Oh, that was fun, if you can imagine the chaos of a wild bird, several cats, a dog, and a freaked out me. So are the squirrels seem to be content with our trees - hope it stays that way!

      Enjoy your toast. :)

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  6. Oh yummmmmmm!!! Peach jam is the best! Yes, it would be good on your yogurt with some of your granola on top!

    I love the baby blankets. I actually like the pink one a lot. The good part about that pattern is that now that you are so tired of it, each row gets smaller and smaller.

    And yes, I love the squirrels too. They are so busy around here now, chopping down the pine cones and getting all the little pine nuts out of them. Guess they know how expensive pine nuts are and decided it is thriftier to do it themselves.

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    1. Guess what's for breakfast this morning? :) :) :)

      Your squirrels get the gourmet food - mine just get acorns. No pine trees out here. They are so cute to watch as they squirrel (haha, I crack myself up) away their food!

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  7. Hooray for jammin! It looks delicious. And I never thought to look at Target for canning supplies, as I mostly get my jars from garage sales, all I usually need are the new lids.

    I am going to try to run 5 miles tomorrow too - hope my quads stop being sore by then! :D Have a great weekend!

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    1. I was surprised to see the jam stuff at Target, too. It's nice that I'll only have to buy the lids now, unless I decide to get bigger jars. I just thought the little ones were so cute!

      OK, you and me - we've GOT this 5 miles tomorrow. Go us!

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  8. "It even LOOKS like jam"! Hahahaha. I love that.
    I will gladly be Kim #29 if you need me too. If not, I'll just be Kim #1.

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  9. ohh I love the idea of doing the jam! I hope you have a great run tomorrow!

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  10. I just can't bring myself to knit in the summer. I'd love to try your jam. Wish I lived nearby. Gl on your run!

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  11. Yay - I am so proud of my little fledgling jammer! It can be addicting to come up with flavors, too. I guess I should try knitting or something.

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  12. Wow, that jam looks delish! A few years ago my hubby and I made a huge amount of peach jam that we enjoyed for a year...wish we did that again this year but with the injury it has kind of taken over my life..lol! Love the squirrels, we have a huge tree in our front yard that is home to many squirrels who love to tease my indoor dogs!

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