While gathering this year's currant harvest, I had a vision. What if I combined Queen Anne's lace jelly with currants for a unique seasonal treat? I could picture the clear jelly with bright red berries suspended in it for a pop of color and flavor. All I needed to do was figure out a way to make it happen. Luckily, I had one of my dearest friends visiting and a cool summer day. We started canning and cooking and made a day of it. The results of the experiment were delicious. [Read more…]
I first saw striped jelly in a Facebook group and thought that it looked absolutely beautiful. There was only a photo, no instructions. The person who shared the photo said that her daughter had made some up for a local farm market. The daughter had planned to price it the same as the other jams, but the mom convinced her to charge extra because of the labor involved. Mom was right again, as the striped jelly sold out almost immediately, even at a much higher price.
I was inspired to give striped jelly a try, so during the season, I saved and froze different types of fruit juice and puree. When my sister came to visit last weekend, she asked if I had any extra jams or jelly that her granddaughter could use for a school fundraiser. Since trying new ideas is always more fun when you have a “partner in crime”, I dug out my fruit stash and my sis and I made up 15 jars of beautiful fruit striped yumminess. Here's how we did it.
By the way – if you don't have a stash of fruit puree, remember that you can always use fruit juices or frozen fruit for jellies and jams.
The natural pectin in apples prompted the authors of Stocking Up III to call apple jelly “the simplest of jellies” because it is made with only apples and sweetener. This year we had a ton of crabapples gifted to us from a neighbor. I canned 14 quarts whole as honey-cinnamon crabapples, made some into applesauce and used some for both juice and sauce. It was nice to get two end products out of the same batch of apples. I cooked the apples up one night and made the jelly the next day so the juice had time to drain. [Read more…]
I think God has a funny sense of humor. I was thinking last weekend, “Hmmm, I wonder if my neighbor will have any extra currants this year since she didn't have much of a harvest last year. It wouldn't be too bad if she didn't as I am quite busy enough already.” Said neighbor called later the same day to let me know she has a bumper crop of currants, and would I like to come over and pick some? Never one to turn away something free or waste food, of course I said “Yes”. So Tuesday morning was spent picking currants, and over the course of the day we cleaned them (picked out debris), washed them and made them into currant jelly. [Read more…]
My friend, Tami, saw my comment on the Common Sense Homesteading Facebook page about wanting to experiment with elderberries, and embraced the challenge with gusto. She and her family went picking, and came home with the entire car trunk filled with elderberries. Bless her heart, I didn't have time to help her process them the next day, so she stuck them in the freezer overnight and tackled them herself.
In this post we'll share how to process fresh elderberries, plus how to make elderberry syrup and elderberry jelly with those fresh elderberries (or juice), and an easy recipe for a small batch of immune boosting elderberry syrup with dried elderberries. (The ingredient list on most commercial “elderberry” syrup doesn't contain much elderberry.) Note: Please scroll down to the bottom of the post for Print Friendly versions of the elderberry syrup and elderberry jelly recipes. [Read more…]