Tag Archives: Gardening

Making Jam – First Harvest

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On the hunt for Jam Recipes lately!  I need a way to use all that rhubarb that is coming up! 🙂  I love these adorable jelly jars!  Wouldn’t they make cute gifts?!

So, I tried three recipes yesterday.  The first is this reduced sugar recipe from Local Kitchen which is quite yummy, though I think I would decrease the lemon next time and add pectin.  It did not set up at all for me.  Maybe I can’t make jam, who knows!

Reduced Sugar Strawberry Rhubarb Jam

The second recipe I tried was this one from Rhubarb Central.  Rhubarb Conserves with Orange, Walnuts & Raisins.  It was AMAZINGLY delicious, but also needs pectin.

Rhubarb Orange Conserve

And the third, this one, also from Rhubarb Central.  Seriously an awesome site for all things rhubarb!  Again, didn’t set up for me.  Maybe I really can’t make jam.  Hmmm…

Rhubarb Orange Jam

I’m on a quest for jams with less sugar… any ideas?  The first one with all the lemon is decent on the sugar side, but the other two… yeah, too much sugar for me.  I know, it’s jam!  It’s supposed to have sugar, right!?  Well, I can’t have sugar but I still want Jam!!

All Recipe Nutrition Information calculated at CalorieCount!  Coolest thing ever!

If you have any links or recipe suggestions for reduced-sugar homemade jams, please do let me know!  I think for now I’ll be making the orangey ones with less sugar and added pectin.  We’ll see how that goes.  One reader suggested Pamona’s Universal Pectin found here… I have yet to try it.

Just another tip… I love these lids (wide mouth) or these (regular mouth) for my mason jars so I don’t have to mess with the rings when a jar is in use in the fridge.

A Garden Update

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I am incredibly excited about our garden this year!  It’s growing beautifully and soon we’ll have loads of tomatoes.  I’ve already harvested the herbs so they won’t be pictured in this post as, well, they aren’t very pretty anymore!  But the tomatoes!  Ooooooh the tomatoes!  Check this out!

Here’s the two I bought at the Farmers’ Market… On the left is a Black Krim tomato… a GORGEOUS fruit (I’ll show you in a minute).  On the right is a Rose tomato – kind of like a grape tomato.  I stuck the kids tractor in there to show the size of these plants!  I’m not even sure how I’ll pick the fruit off the Rose because it’s so crammed full inside the tomato cage!  The Krim is so tall & heavy we had to tie it with a string to a the nearby lilac bush!  And they are both bursting with fruit.

 

 

Here’s the underside of the Black Krim!

Here’s a cluster of Rose Tomatoes… do you see how dense this plant is?  Amazing!

And here’s a picture of our first ripe Black Krim fruit…  Isn’t it gorgeous!  The outside goes from a forest green around the top & fades to a deep red.  The flavor was AMAZING!

 

Onward… these next two tomatoes we got from Costco, and had I been thinking straight when we planted them, I would have put them in larger cages!  The ones that came with the plants were decidedly NOT tall enough.  On the left is another Black Krim & on the right is a Sweet 100 Cherry Tomato.  These are also bursting with fruit & I hope they make it because the vines are bending all the way to the ground over the short little cages.  Live and learn.

 

A shot of the ripe Sweet 100… I think I’ll let the kids pick those for snack.  They’ve been checking the plants for ripe tomatoes every day for weeks!  They will be very excited!

 

And last but not least, the Bell Pepper!  Got this little guy at the Farmer’s Market as well.  I wish I had a picture of what he looked like in the pot.  I tried to grow him in a pot like the guy said, but he just never perked up.  Never even got another bloom.  My husband decided one day that we were going to just try putting him in the ground in our Back to Eden garden.  Since then he’s put on over 8 new blooms and has a 2″ fruit!  He’s quite a bit taller as well!

 

Said fruit…

 

 

At any rate, I’m excited about our wonderful garden & can’t wait for next years’ plans!

Oh, and by the way… I am eating bread that I just baked on the front porch IN MY CROCK POT!  Here’s the recipe.  It really does taste quite good, and is apparently fool proof.  I didn’t have any eggs left so I substituted flaxmeal for the egg.  Simply put 2 Tablespoons ground flaxmeal in a one cup pyrex.  Add  boiling water until mixture reaches 1/4 cup.  Whisk until the consistency of an egg!  Easy peasy.

Anyway… substituted for the egg, and accidentally heated the milk way too hot so I cooled that with a couple ice cubes!  Pathetic… I’ve never made such a mess of bread.  But it tastes DELICIOUS and is a nice texture.  I’d probably have a hard time slicing it thin for a sandwich, but that could be my tom foolery with the egg bit too!

How’s your garden growing this year? 

 

 

 

Pregnancy Week 14 & Gardening!

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Well… I’ve made it into the second trimester and only lost a couple pounds!  I’m feeling sooo much better lately, food is starting to regain it’s appeal and my appetite is horrendous!

So, this post will be totally random… updates from the life & times of just another pregnant mom who hasn’t got much of a brain anyway.

My husband & I watched the Back to Eden Film this last week and we are pumped up and totally excited to start a garden!  We did a semi-BTE garden this last year and experienced such amazing results that we figured we needed to just go all out!  We’ve already got our first load of wood chips to spread and will probably start working on that this evening.

Here’s a picture of the difference we’ve experienced with traditional gardening vs. BTE gardening.

Can you believe the difference!  It’s so lush & green and the plants are HUGE!!!

This week we also took a pepper that I’d planted in a pot at the direction of the guy at the Farmers Market.  It hadn’t grown since MAY!  Not an inch.  And only produced one little fruit about the size of a kiwi!  And the leaves were all yellow.  TWO DAYS AGO… we transplanted that same pepper into our BTE garden area… it’s grown a good THREE inches and has EIGHT buds on it!  I am soooo a believer in Paul Gautschi’s gardening method that I had to share with you!  I can’t wait to see what we can grow next season!  Ooooh the possibilities! 🙂