Friday, September 25, 2009

Refrigerator Jelly

In honor of the back to school madness I decided to try something new because only me would add a little extra crazy to her life. I decided last year to stop buying jelly for those PBJ's and would make my own instead. I noticed however, that I was spending a lot of energy (electricity) boiling water in my canner for sterilizing jars and for the hot water baths once my jelly was in jars. So I had a thought - since I go through jelly like wildfire through sage brush, why can't I make refrigerator jelly? For this I mean one batch of jelly poured into one large container and kept in the refidgerator until it's gone. I use it fast enough that it never should spoil! So this is what I did the first week of September.

2 cups raspberries
5 cups blueberries
3 to 4 cups sugar
candy thermometer
enamel soup pot
large tupperware container or a large mason jar.

1. Place berries and sugar in pot and stir to combine

2. Over medium high heat, stir berries and sugars until it starts to cook.
3. Cook rapidly until it starts to gel and use your candy thermometer to check the temp. I got mine to at least 2oo degrees, but 250 degrees is typically where it gels. My goal here was to see how much energy I could save. This jam ended up on the less gelled side since I didn't take it to 250 degrees but it worked none the less.
4. Remove from heat and pour into container for refrigerator. Watch the splatter please - it hurts if you get it on your face! :D

5. Store in refrigerator and enjoy!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Missing Monarchs

Has everyone noticed the lack of Monarch caterpillars this year? Blame it on the rain, but I am rather worried about the effect this season will have on the already threatened migration of the Monarch's. It didn't dawn on me until I began harvesting the garden, that none of the milkweed I nurtured and didn't weed or mow was being eaten or used by the majestic caterpillar. Instead, I found yellow tussock moth like caterpillars and these beautiful look-a-likes. I don't know what it is, but it loves my dill, looks a lot like the Monarch, but has chartreuse stripes in place of the orange. Anyone?

Monday, September 14, 2009

Morning Dew

Saw this on my way to the bus stop one morning.

Thursday, September 3, 2009


It has been a while since my last blog post, but my computer died and I am slowly getting back on a full size keyboard. I stopped uploading pictures so I have about a month of catch up work to do. My love and thanks to SP for the perfect seventh anniversary present - one matching desk set in a cute little iBook G4.
This picture is from the first week in September. The bottle, that SP once found in the woods, is a Mount Zircon Ginger Ale from Mount Zircon Springs in Rumford, Maine.