Thursday, July 28, 2011

The First Batch

(Please excuse the blurriness; for some reason, I absolutely could not get a sharp focus.)

It's the first batch of jellies/jams/marmalades, in any case. This is cherry-lemon marmalade. I dug through all of the recipes I could find in my books & on the web, and ended up basing it on this one.

I used half sour and half sweet cherries, and soaked the sliced lemons for two days rather than one. It still is a very loose set. When I make this again--and I will, it tastes terrific--I'll probably add a bit of commercial pectin, or use a chopped Granny Smith apple in the pectin bag.

My version made a dozen 4 ounce jars and two 6 ounce jars, with about 2 ounces left over, which I refrigerated.

Because of the pith used, it's probably a touch more bitter than most Americans like. If you don't like bitter marmalade, slice off the zest and sliver it, and remove the pith from the fruit before slicing and quartering it.

It's tart and rich and a trifle bitter. So far I've tried it on buttered toast and also with maple peanut butter on crackers. Next stop: trifle or cake filling!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

A Vintage Workout

In my efforts to lose the (unwelcome) reminders of last year's Christmas baking, I've been trimming down. Running, walking, stretching, all of that. But it's a pretty easy task this time of year, with the exception of the occasional heat wave--and even that can be trumped, if I'm willing to wake up early enough.

Winter in New England, though, can be a tough time to exercise out-of-doors--shoveling excepted, of course. Therefore, I've been on the lookout for some kind of very simple exercise bike, not necessarily vintage, but if the Fates are going to be kind and present one, well, I'm not the sort to say no.
The front badge is missing--no doubt it was taken off and sold separately--and the wheel is going to need repair, it's somewhat warped.

Still and all, pretty good pickings for $29.99, wouldn't you say?

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Not much knitting

...but some. I finished a plain pair of ribbed gray socks--perfect for running--and I'm working up a pair of medium blue socks, making up the pattern (ribbing w/a travelling yarnover) as I go.

The garden in back is coming along, though my back fence neighbor keeps draining his skimmed pool water into the yard, and I am not happy about it. Neither are the roses. If that continues, I'll be round the street with a big fake smile, a tin of cookies and a friendly "request" to cease and desist. Maybe he'd like to run that water over his own garden instead??

Our front garden is making a comeback from its problems. Our next-door neighbors had their place power-washed. And the overspray killed much of my garden. The roses all survived, but most had to be cut back to bare root, or nearly. Luckily, they are beginning to produce leaves again, and in a couple of cases, flowers.

I could be luckier with my neighbors, I think!

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Nothing to report, except for desserts

Here's the cherry pie. I won "Mom's Best" again. Next year, I think I'll go with something less traditional, but it was fun.

This next one is a cocoanut cream pie with a cocoanut and graham cracker crust, topped with red raspberries, white meringues, and blackberries. Happy belated 4th of July!