Last Friday I spent ALL.DAY.LONG canning, and wouldn't you know I would have someone hack into my computer in the middle of my big canning production? It was very stressful, but thankfully after spending the weekend changing passwords, canceling credit cards, making phone calls, etc. all is well. The canning session before that one I had the power go out during the evening which left me canning with only the light of my iPhone for awhile. So, I am really hoping that next time I want to can things can remain otherwise calm in our house. :)
Recently I went to a local roadside market and asked if they would give me a bargain on a box of plums. I ended up saving sixty cents per pound by purchasing the twenty-five pound box. It was fun to bring so many plums home and research Pinterest to decide what I wanted to make!
I ended up making plum jam which didn't set like I had hoped, so I think we will use it as plum syrup. I also wonder if we could add a little pectin when we open a jar and get the jam consistency. Has anyone ever tried this, or is there a way to thicken it once we open each individual jar?
I used a nifty tool called an apple corer, but it worked great with the plums to get the stones out.
I LOVED watching the juice come out of the food mill; it was such a pretty color! Also, there is nothing like the smell of fresh fruit and sugar simmering over a hot stove. Unfortunately this must be the point where I did not add enough pectin. I am not sure what went wrong. I thought I was following the instructions and it looked reasonably thick to me. I know I still have much to learn about canning!
I also made a plum/pear/applesauce that has been a big hit with my children. They like putting it on rice cakes, eating it plain, and my toddler likes to dip her bread in it.
Last but not least I also made plum pie filling, and I am thinking this might be delicious around the holidays. Don't plums just make you think of the Christmas season? They go so well with the holiday spices and smell so wonderful!
Sometimes I tend to be overly ambitious, and since I found a good sale last week, I also had some nectarines and oranges to try my hand at canning. This was the first time for each of these fruits, but the nectarines were pretty much like canning peaches except that I did not take the skins off the nectarines. They really canned up pretty!
Lastly I did the oranges, and according to one of my children they turned out tasty as well. I just sliced the oranges and used a knife to take off as much of the white from under the peel as I could. I used a light syrup to pour over the oranges when they were done. I am looking forward to doing some baby oranges when I find a good deal on those as well. For now I just had a small amount of larger oranges, so it was not a huge amount but a good start.
I saw on Pinterest that you can make homemade natural housecleaner by putting the leftover orange peels in a Mason jar and pouring white distilled vinegar over them. Then you put the lid on and let the orange peels sit for a week and a half to two weeks and then put the scented liquids in spray bottles. I am excited to see how this cleaner turns out after my jars sit for a couple of weeks. They look pretty sitting on my shelf for now!
The last thing I want to share in this post is my new black tray I found at Kirklands. I saw this tray last week and LOVED it. It was one of those things that I kept thinking about, so when I received a coupon to Kirklands I went back and got a good deal on it. I am thrilled with it; I put some straw decorative balls in it with a battery powered lantern and a fall pumpkin and leaves. At Christmas I will trade out the fall touches with Christmas trimmings. I put the tray on our bedroom dresser which is making me really happy, because our bedroom often gets neglected. It is a room I can close off and often doesn't seem like the priority of the kitchen or family room. It is so nice though when it is clean and there can be something like this seasonal decoration to bring a nice touch to the room. I am excited to just change out a few things for each season. I like decorations that can remain in the same place year around with only a few adjustments for each new season. It makes life simpler!
Well, that is what has been going on over here the last few days. Thanks for stopping by and have a blessed week!